Hamamatsu Photonics has succeeded in producing the world’s first quantum cascade photodetector (QCD), the P16309-01. This new QCD has sensitivity to mid-infrared light gained by harnessing a quantum structure design technology and circuit design expertise we have accumulated through the development of quantum cascade lasers (QCL)*1. This new QCD also delivers a cut-off frequency*2 of 20 gigahertz (GHz), the world’s highest response time of any mid-infrared photodetectors operating at room temperature, currently available in the market. Using this new QCD as a photodetector for analytical instruments will now allow the measurement of chemical reactions such as combustion and explosion in the order of picoseconds or ps (a picosecond is one-trillionth of a second). This therefore performs analysis at extremely short time intervals, which has been impossible until now. Other promising applications include high-speed, large-capacity spatial communications and long-range lidar.
Sales of this new QCD started on October 1, 2021 to research institutes, analytical instrument manufacturers, telecommunications carriers, shipping and conveyor equipment manufacturers, and more.
*1: QCL: A semiconductor laser using a special quantum structure in the light-emitting layer that produces high-power light in the mid-to-far infrared region.
*2: Cut-off frequency: This is the response speed limit of a photodetector and is expressed as the number of times that a single is detected per second.