OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 45, Iss. 30 — Oct. 20, 2006
  • pp: 7753–7759

Practical limit of the accuracy of radiometric measurements using HgCdTe detectors

E. Theocharous and O. J. Theocharous  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 45, Issue 30, pp. 7753-7759 (2006)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (857 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The spectral responsivity of HgCdTe detectors operating in the thermal infrared region was observed to drift slowly with time. The characteristics of the drift were investigated and were shown to have a different origin from the drifts previously reported by one of the authors. Those drifts were caused by a thin film of water ice depositing on the active area of the cold detector. The source of the new drift is far more serious because it is fundamental, making the acquisition of accurate radiometric measurements with these detectors very difficult. It is demonstrated that the source of the new drift is the nonlinearity in the response of the HgCdTe detectors, coupled with the fluctuations of the irradiance reaching them. These fluctuations are due to variations in the thermal background caused by changes in the temperature of objects in the field of view of the detectors. This phenomenon is expected to provide a practical limit to the accuracy of radiometric measurements using not only HgCdTe detectors but also other detectors whose linearity is a function of the thermal background.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(040.0040) Detectors : Detectors
(040.3060) Detectors : Infrared
(120.1880) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Detection

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: May 18, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: June 9, 2006

E. Theocharous and O. J. Theocharous, "Practical limit of the accuracy of radiometric measurements using HgCdTe detectors," Appl. Opt. 45, 7753-7759 (2006)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. E. Theocharous, N. P. Fox, and T. R. Prior, "A comparison of the performance of infrared detectors for radiometric applications," in Optical Radiation Measurements III, Proc. SPIE 2815,56-69, 1996.
  2. E. Theocharous and J. Birch, "Detectors for mid and far infrared spectroscopy: selection and use," in The Handbook of Vibrational Spectroscopy, J.M.Chalmers and P.R.Griffiths, eds. (Wiley, 2002), Vol. 1, pp. 349-367.
  3. E. Theocharous and N. P. Fox, "Reversible and apparent ageing effects in infrared detectors," Metrologia 40, S136-S140 (2003). [CrossRef]
  4. E. Theocharous, "On the stability of the spectral responsivity of cryogenically cooled HgCdTe infrared detectors," Infrared Phys. Technol. 48, 175-180 (2006).
  5. W. M. Irvine and J. B. Pollack, "Infrared optical properties of water and ice spheres," Icarus 8, 324-360 (1968). [CrossRef]
  6. E. Theocharous, G. Hawkins, and N. P. Fox "Reversible ageing effects in cryogenically cooled infrared filter radiometers," Infrared Phys. Technol. 46, 339-349 (2004). [CrossRef]
  7. E. Theocharous and N. P. Fox "Ageing effects in cryogenically cooled InSb infrared filtered detectors," Meas. Sci. Technol. 16, 578-582 (2005). [CrossRef]
  8. E. Theocharous, "Drifts in cryogenically cooled photodetectors: causes and cures," Photonics Spectra (April 2006), pp. 175-180.
  9. E. Theocharous, J. Ishii, and N. P. Fox, "A comparison of the performance of a photovoltaic HgCdTe detector with that of a large area single pixel QWIP for infrared radiometric applications," Infrared Phys. Technol. 46, 309-322 (2005). [CrossRef]
  10. E. Theocharous, "Absolute linearity measurements on PbS detectors in the infrared," Appl. Opt. 45, 2381-2386 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. F. Lei and J. Fischer, "Characterisation of photodiodes in the UV and the visible spectral region based on cryogenic radiometry," Metrologia 30, 297-303 (1993). [CrossRef]
  12. E. Theocharous, J. Ishii, and N. P. Fox, "Absolute linearity measurements on HgCdTe detectors in the infrared," Appl. Opt. 43, 4182-4188 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. P. E. Petersen, "Auger recombination in mercury cadmium telluride," in Semiconductors and Semimetals, R.K.Willardson and A.C.Beer, eds. (Academic, 1981), Vol. 18, Chap. 4, pp. 121-155. [CrossRef]
  14. I. Kudman, Infrared Associates Incorporated (private communication, 2006).
  15. E. Theocharous, T. R. Prior, P. R. Haycocks, and N. P. Fox, "High-accuracy, infrared, spectral responsivity scale," Metrologia 35, 543-548 (1998). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited