Optical immersion of mid-infrared LEDs and photodiodes for gas-sensing applications

H.R. Hardaway, C.T. Elliott, N.T. Gordon, J.G. Crowder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


The high gains in performance predicted for optical immersion are difficult to achieve in practice due to total internal reflection at the lens/detector interface. By reducing the air gap at this interface optical tunneling becomes possible and the predicted gains can be realized in practical devices. Using this technique we have demonstrated large performance gains by optically immersing mid-infrared heterostructure InA1Sb LEDs and photodiodes using hypershperical germanium lenses. The development of an effective method of optical immersion that gives excellent optical coupling has produced a photodiode with a peak room temperature detectivity (D*) of 5.3 x 109 cmHz½W-1 at λpeak=5.4μm and a 40° field of view. A hyperspherically immersed LED showed a f-fold improvement in the external efficiency, and a 3-fold improvement in the directionality compared with a conventional planar LED for f/2 optical systems. The incorporation of these uncooled devices in a White cell produced a NO2 gas sensing system with 2 part-per-million sensitivity, with an LED drive current of <5mA. These results represent a significant advance in the use of solid state devices for portable gas sensing systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaser diodes, optoelectronic devices, and heterogenous integration
EditorsAlfred Driessen, Roel G. Baets, John G. McInerney, Ephraim Suhir
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-0-8194-4742-5
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2003
EventLaser Diodes, Optoelectronic Devices, and Heterogenous Integration - Brugge, Belgium
Duration: 28 Oct 2002 → …

Publication series

NameSPIE proceedings
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceLaser Diodes, Optoelectronic Devices, and Heterogenous Integration
Period28/10/02 → …

Bibliographical note

Harvey R. Hardaway ; C. T. Elliot ; Neil T. Gordon and J. G. Crowder. "Optical immersion of mid-infrared LEDs and photodiodes for gas-sensing applications", Proc. SPIE 4947, Laser Diodes, Optoelectronic Devices, and Heterogenous Integration, 52 (March 11, 2003).

Copyright 2002 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.



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