HRL will research Wafer Scale Infrared Detectors for DARPA

Miniaturized digital cameras are as ubiquitous as the smartphones that hold them. Whereas these high resolution, visible light cameras can be manufactured quickly and inexpensively, making miniature infrared cameras and sensors is both time-consuming and costly. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded HRL Laboratories, LLC, funding to research novel ways to synthesize semiconductors for sensing in the infrared spectrum, and methodologies to cost effectively integrate the infrared materials with silicon read-out integrated circuits (ROIC).

According to Senior Scientist Dr. Rajesh Rajavel, who manages HRL’s infrared detector team, wafer-level direct integration of the infrared detector material with ROIC should result in a drastic reduction in the cost of infrared imaging focal plane arrays. “Time-consuming, conventional die-level serial processes will be replaced with streamlined wafer-level processes,” he said.

The DARPA Wafer Scale Infrared Detectors (WIRED) program seeks to drastically reduce the cost of infrared focal plane arrays. “Our research and implementation of innovative methodologies will draw on HRL’s core competencies in infrared sensing, semiconductor electronics, and heterogeneous integration,” said Rajavel.

The views, opinions and/or findings expressed in this press release are those of HRL and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited.

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HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California ( is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.

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