$4.4M Grant to Build Next-Gen Night-Vision Tech

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., Oct. 21, 2021 — Researchers at the University of Arkansas received a $4.4 million award from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to develop the next generation of infrared sensors used in night-vision technology.

Three researchers — electronic engineering professor Shui-Qing “Fisher” Yu, Distinguished Professor Greg Salamo, and assistant professor of physics Jin Hu — will collaborate with the Navy Surface Warfare Research Center, Crane Division, and Arktonics, a local company.

Current technologies rely on semiconducting alloys such as mercury cadmium telluride, which have several limitations, including a complex and expensive manufacturing process, low production yield, and poor uniformity over large areas.
Left to right, Greg Salamo, Shui-Qing “Fisher” Yu and Jin Hu. Courtesy of the University of Arkansas.
Left to right, Greg Salamo, Shui-Qing 'Fisher' Yu, and Jin Hu. Courtesy of the University of Arkansas. 

These limitations negatively affect wide-range infrared visibility, especially in areas with poor environmental conditions, such as sandy or hazy environments. These technologies also cannot integrate an infrared camera and other necessary electronics on the same chip, which increases cost and decreases reliability, efficiency, and speed.

With the funding, the team will develop an infrared imaging sensor array based on silicon germanium tin, a semiconductor. The team will then integrate this array with a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) on the same chip. The combination increases the efficiency in the collection of ambient light, an essential element in night-vision technology. Using that sensor, the team will build a prototype of a better-performing and lower-cost infrared camera.

Published: October 2021
BusinessImagingMaterialsSensors & Detectorsinfraredresearchfundingprototypenight visionmilitaryUS Office of Naval ResearchNavy Surface Warfare Research CenterArktonics

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