In this paper, we report on the growth and fabrication of InSb detectors and Focal Plane Arrays (FPA's) on (100) Si, Al203, and (100) and (111) GaAs substrates for infrared (IR) imaging. Several advantages result from using GaAs, Si, or Al203. First, InSb FPA's on these materials do not require thinning as with detectors fabricated from bulk InSb. In addition, these substrates are available in larger sizes, are semi-insulating (GaAs and sapphire), and are less expensive than InSb.
Optimum growth conditions have been determined and discrete devices have been fabricated on each substrate material. The structural, electrical, and optical properties were verified using x-ray, Hall, photoresponse, and photoluminescence (PL) measurements. Measured x-ray Full Widths at Half Maximum (FWHM) were as low as 55 and 100 arcsec for InSb epilayers on GaAs and Si, respectively. Hall mobilities were as high as 128,000, 95,000 and 72,000 cm2/V-sec at 200 K, 77 K, and room temperature, respectively. In addition, 77 K PL linewidths were as low as 18, 20, and 30 meV on GaAs, Si, and sapphire substrates respectively, well below the 48 meV value previously reported in the literature.
In collaboration with Lockheed Martin Fairchild Systems (LMFS), IR thermal imaging has been obtained from InSb FPA's on GaAs and Si substrates. This is the first successful IR thermal imaging from heteroepitaxially grown InSb. Because of the high quality substrates, larger areas, and higher yields, this technology is very promising for challenging traditional InSb FPA hybrid technology.