Sukrith Dev, a graduate student in UT electrical and computer engineering, and Daniel Wasserman, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UT Mid-IR Optical Research Group, completed the study.
The advantage of this new measurement technique over prior art is that the ability to characterize materials in small sizes is significantly enhanced, which will accelerate the discovery and research of two-dimensional, micro- and nano-sized materials. Especially in the general trend of shrinking size of electronic and optical devices, accurate measurement of small-sized semiconductor material properties will help engineers determine the application range of materials.
Dev believes: "The new technology can enhance everyone's understanding of infrared sensor technology, and open up a promising new direction for night vision, free space communication! In essence, our new technology can more sensitively acquire a kind of carrier lifetime. Material properties that will help determine material quality and determine its potential application."
The length of time in which an electron remains "photoexcited" or generates an electrical signal in an optoelectronic material is a reliable indicator of the potential quality of the material in optoelectronic detection applications. Current methods for measuring photoexcited electron carrier kinetics or lifetime are costly, complex, and have limited precision.
Dev further explains: “When certain semiconductor materials are exposed to light, the electrons are excited and temporarily free. Carrier lifetime refers to the time that these free electrons remain excited before recombining to their respective positions. Carrier lifetime is important Material parameters, which are important indicators of the overall optical quality of the material, and it also determines the application of a material for photodetectors. For example, if you want to improve communication capabilities, you need materials with a relatively short carrier lifetime. If you want a device with very high sensitivity such as thermal imaging, you need a material with a long carrier lifetime."
Dev and Wasserman's strategy is unique in that they use optical signals to modulate microwave signals, as opposed to traditional test methods.
Dev said: "The problem with traditional test methods is that light must be collected and its radiation capability is really poor. But because we limit the microwave to a small pulse capacity, our technology can make it more sensitive."
Dev believes: "With this technology, more sensitive infrared sensors can be developed in the future. At the same time, this technology may contribute to free space communication or bandwidth enhancement, and open up new fields for electromagnetics and solid physics research. ""
Mihir Shah, a sophomore in UT electrical engineering, expressed his passion for semiconductor and solid state physics. Shah said: "I believe that exploring new areas of computing today is more important than ever. I am willing to do some research in the field of photonic integrated circuits to see more optical subsystems in today's electronic ecosystem. application."
Jaime Tan Leon, a sophomore major in UT electrical engineering, believes that research in the electronics field will become increasingly important. Tan Leon said: “Electrical engineers play a key role in solving problems. For engineers, new ideas for improving sensitivity and quality are now very important for the future.”