Journal of Electronic Materials

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1391–1398

HgCdTe negative luminescence devices for cold shielding and other applications


  • J. R. Lindle
    • Code 5613, Naval Research Laboratory
  • W. W. Bewley
    • Code 5613, Naval Research Laboratory
  • I. Vurgaftman
    • Code 5613, Naval Research Laboratory
  • J. R. Meyer
    • Code 5613, Naval Research Laboratory
  • J. L. Johnson
    • Imaging DivisionRockwell Scientific
  • M. L. Thomas
    • Imaging DivisionRockwell Scientific
  • E. C. Piquette
    • Imaging DivisionRockwell Scientific
  • W. E. Tennant
    • Imaging DivisionRockwell Scientific
  • E. P. Smith
    • Raytheon Vision Systems
  • S. M. Johnson
    • Raytheon Vision Systems

DOI: 10.1007/s11664-006-0273-z

Cite this article as:
Lindle, J.R., Bewley, W.W., Vurgaftman, I. et al. Journal of Elec Materi (2006) 35: 1391. doi:10.1007/s11664-006-0273-z


Negative luminescence (NL) refers to the suppression of infrared blackbody emission, and hence an apparent temperature reduction, due to free carrier extraction from a reverse-biased p-n junction. A number of applications are envisioned for NL devices, including cold shielding of background-limited uncooled and cryogenic focal-plane arrays, dynamic nonuniformity correction for ir imaging, and ir scene simulation. High-performance NL devices have recently been demonstrated. For example, a HgCdTe/CdZnTe photodiode with 4.8-µm cutoff wavelength achieved an internal NL efficiency of 95% at room temperature. This means that the blackbody emission was suppressed by a factor of 20 and that the apparent temperature of the device surface decreased by 60 K. The corresponding reverse-bias saturation current density was 0.11 A/cm2. Even HgCdTe devices (λco=5.3 µm) grown on large-area silicon substrates with substantial lattice mismatch displayed 88% internal NL efficiency and saturation current densities no larger than 1.3 A/cm2. These results indicate a clear path toward a negative-luminescence device technology that is efficient, operates at low power, and is inexpensive.

Key words

LWIR detectorsnegative luminescenceHgCdTe

Copyright information

© TMS-The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society 2006