Quantum-well infrared photodetector

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This video shows the evolution of taking the quantum-well infrared photodetector (QWIP) from inception, to testing on the ground and from a plane, and ultimately to a NASA science mission.

A quantum-well infrared photodetector (QWIP), is an infrared photodetector made from semiconductor materials which contain one or more quantum wells. These can be integrated together with electronics and optics to make infrared cameras for thermography. A very common well material is gallium arsenide, used with barrier material aluminium gallium arsenide. There are several companies world-wide manufacturing infrared systems which use QWIPs. It is also considered a game changing technology for such applications as air-to-air missiles, where it can detect objects which are well outside the visual range of the pilot.

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