Infrared Detectors

Sensors and FPAs For Space

Infrared Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs)

Teledyne Imaging has a broad Infrared (IR) technology development roadmap enabling global space missions through the groups US and European operations. Capabilities cover the full infrared spectrum from Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) through Mediumwave Infrared (MWIR) to Longwave Infrared (LWIR and VLWIR).

With in-house material growth and packaging capabilities in the US and UK, Teledyne is able to meet any detector requirement from Photodiodes to large custom CMOS and ROIC FPAs. Detector material growth and manufacturing competences include Mercury Cadmium Telluride – MCT (HgCdTe), Type 2 Super Lattice (T2SL), Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) and Indium Antimonide (InSb), covering the compound semiconductor groups columns II, II, IV, V and IV.

  • Detector through to camera level and standard through to custom solutions
  • Full range of detector materials including HgCdTe (MCT PV/PC), T2SL, InSb, InGaAs
  • Offering a range of application tuned solutions from NIR to VLWIR
  • Custom and COTS+ solutions CMOS, ROIC and diode packages
  • Full packaging design and test capability
  • A range of Cryogenic and Thermo Electric Cooling (TEC) methods
  • High Operating Temperature (HOT) technology
  • SWaP (Size, Weight and Power consumption)
  • Enabling power efficient systems
  • Reduction in cooler/dewar capacity requirement
  • Reduced maintenance and total cost of ownership
Teledyne has the ability to tune the performance of detectors with materials from the II, III, IV, V, and VI semiconductor groups


Teledyne Imaging has a reputation for producing the highest performance Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs) using Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) technology to grow HgCdTe (also known as MCT) detector substrates.

With the unique material properties of MCT to tune the detector to specific wavelengths and decades of experience in optimising, packaging and hybridizing infrared sensors Teledyne is supplying major ESA and NASA space science and astronomy missions. Teledyne’s IR FPA’s are to be used in prestigious missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and Euclid and are currently flying on the Hubble Telescope and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Telescope (WISE).

Key capabilities:

  • Growth and processing of the HgCdTe detector layer
  • Design and fabrication of the Readout Integrated Circuit (ROIC)
  • Hybridization of the detector layer to CIS / ROIC
  • Substrate removal for visible detection
  • Custom AR coatings

Teledyne Imaging offers custom and standard FPAs, with the ability to tune the detector to specific wavelengths according to the mission and project needs. Browse our HgCdTe standard products covering astronomy, space science, planetary exploration, heliophysics and Earth science applications. 

Notable space infrared missions that have been enabled by Teledyne Imaging’s HgCdTe detectors including OSIRIS-REx, WISE, Deep Impact and EPOXI and Sentinels 3A and 3B. There are numerous planned and scheduled NASA and ESA infrared missions in the coming decade that will be using Teledyne’s infrared sensors.

Teledyne Imaging is also the world leader in infrared detectors for ground astronomy applications.

III-V Infrared Detectors

Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) and Indium Antimonide (InSb) as well as other III-V compound semiconductor configurations as CMOS/ROIC designs and Type 2 Super Lattice (T2SL) has gained a lot of interest for infrared (IR) detection applications. Similar to HgCdTe devices are band-gap engineered by varying the composition and doping of the thin semiconductor layers.

With respect to T2SL detectors The artificial periodicity introduced by the multilayer structure produces super lattices. With type-1 super lattices, the electrons and holes are contained in the same layer. For type-2 super lattices, the electrons and holes are located in adjacent layers.

In the UK with UK Ministry of Defence - Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) ‘Space to Innovate’ competition, which sought to find and fund new technologies that could improve the UK’s resilience, awareness and capability in space, awarded funding to Teledyne e2v for radiation-hard infrared detectors for space applications with new materials for inherently hardened IR detectors for defence missions.

Key advantages:

  • High Operating Temperature (HOT) technology
  • SWaP (Size, Weight and Power consumption)
  • Enabling more power efficient systems
  • Reduction in cooler/dewar capacity requirement
  • Reduced maintenance and total cost of ownership
  • Technologically mature materials processing and device fabrication
  • Good uniformity
  • Tunability of the cut-off wavelength
  • Dual colour capability
  • Cost effective
Learn more: Development of III-V Detectors for Space Applications

Opto-electronic devices destined for space must be suitably radiation-hard, meaning that they must be resilient to the effects of high energy radiation in space. For high performance IR (infrared) space-based applications, the current material of choice is MCT (Mercury Cadmium Telluride). The new generation of barrier diode detectors based on III-V materials offer a promising alternative to MCT, providing comparable performance whilst offering devices that are compatible with volume manufacturing processes.

Read the full paper »

Other Detector Materials

Our high performance single element and FPA infrared detectors utilize a wide variety of materials such as Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs), Mercury Cadmium Telluride (HgCdTe), Indium Antimonide (InSb), Indium Arsenide (InAs), Lead Sulfide (PbS), Lead Selenide (PbSe), and Germanium (Ge).

IR Products

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