Detector Array Technology

A detector array [photodiode array [PDA], InGaAs array or CCD array] is a linear arrangement of discrete detectors [e.g. 512 photodiodes] on an integrated circuit [IC] chip. Placed at the image plane of a spectrometer it allows a range of wavelengths to be measured simultaneously. Incident light is dispersed by a fixed grating. Since the sensors have no moving parts, a full spectrum can be acquired in milliseconds or less. In addition, the rugged and compact design of the monolithic spectral sensors allows reliable, accurate data acquisition without any need for recalibration. NIR and CCD devices with significant dark current are thermoelectrically cooled or stabilized for drift-free operation. Thus, diode-array based spectrometers detectors are especially useful in industrial environment, where samples are rapidly passing, with application examples like quality inspection of a wafer or a LED in production.
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General design features of the spectral sensors from Carl Zeiss are:

  • Stable and rugged design
    • Minimum number of components
    • High performance materials – glass, titanium, ceramics
    • Advanced mounting technology for ultimate stability
  • Cross Section Converter versus Slit
    • High efficiency, High light throughput
    • Higher sensitivity
  • Spectrograph body holds sensor chip
    • Monolithic, rugged design
    • No need for recalibration
    • Low temperature drift
    • Low stray light
  • High Quality Detectors
    • Large dynamic range
    • Low noise, high signal to noise ratio
  • High performance electronics from tec5
    • High readout speed
    • Real-time trigger capabilities
Sketch of a monolithic miniature spectrometer [Carl Zeiss MMS]
Sketch of a monolithic miniature spectrometer [Carl Zeiss MMS]

Main application areas of detector array technologies:

  • Si-NMOS [200 – 1100 nm]:
    • light-source emission
    • absorbance, color
    • layer thickness
    • concentration 
  • Si-CCD [200 – 1100 nm]:
    • diffuse reflectance
    • fluorescence
    • strongly absorbing medialow light-level detection
  • InGaAs [900 – 2500 nm]:
    • humidity
    • protein content
    • layer thickness
    • organics concentration
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