For the last 30 years VIGO System S.A. (Ożarów Maz., Poland) has been developing a unique technology for manufacturing Thermo-Electrically (TE) cooled photodetector integrated with the preamplifier circuitry (so-called detection modules) for fast and low noise detection of 1 – 16 µm mid-infrared (mid-IR) radiation. The detection modules are built with the use of mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) or III-V group compounds, a unique materials whose band gap may be tuned to a large extent by means of changing the alloy composition. The devices manufactured by VIGO System are used, amongst others, in the following fields: industry, defense and security, environmental protection and gas analysis, real-time water quality control, healthcare and non-destructive spectroscopy. In recent years, the mid-IR laser spectroscopy has garnered lot of attention from researchers, because this technology shows great potential for development of simple and compact broadband spectrometers that are able to access the fundamental molecular absorption bands in the mid-IR with high resolution and speed. However further development of laser spectroscopic techniques strongly relies on increasing the availability of new mid-IR devices.
Because many applications stand in need for low noise devices operating in the GHz bandwidth, we will show current VIGO System research towards developing high speed detection modules. A novel measurement technique will be introduced for accurate lumped-element modeling of the photodetector impedance.
In addition, to suppress excess noise (1/f and long term drifts) of the laser source, VIGO has developed detection module for balanced mid-IR sensing.
Finally we will discuss potential applications of the presented devices for state-of-the-art mid-IR laser spectroscopic instrumentation for applications in trace gas detection and chemical sensing.