Evaluating the GeoSnap 13-μm cutoff HgCdTe detector for mid-IR ground-based astronomy

Jarron M. Leisenring, Dani Atkinson, Rory Bowens, Vincent Douence, William F. Hoffmann, Michael R. Meyer, John Auyeung, James Beletic, Mario S. Cabrera, Alexandra Z. Greenbaum, Philip Hinz, Derek Ives, William J. Forrest, Craig W. McMurtry, Judith L. Pipher, Eric Viges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New mid-infrared HgCdTe (MCT) detector arrays developed in collaboration with Teledyne Imaging Sensors (TIS) have paved the way for improved 10- (Formula presented.) m sensors for space- and ground-based observatories. Building on the successful development of longwave HAWAII-2RGs for space missions such as NEO Surveyor, we characterize the first 13- (Formula presented.) m GeoSnap detector manufactured to overcome the challenges of high-background rates inherent in ground-based mid-IR astronomy. This test device merges the longwave HgCdTe photosensitive material with Teledyne's (Formula presented.) GeoSnap-18 (18- (Formula presented.) m pixel) focal plane module, which is equipped with a capacitive transimpedance amplifier (CTIA) readout circuit paired with an onboard 14-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The final assembly yields a mid-IR detector with high QE, fast readout (>85 Hz), large well depth (>1.2 million electrons), and linear readout. Longwave GeoSnap arrays would ideally be deployed on existing ground-based telescopes as well as the next generation of extremely large telescopes. While employing advanced adaptive optics (AO) along with state-of-the-art diffraction suppression techniques, instruments utilizing these detectors could attain background- and diffraction-limited imaging at inner working angles <10 (Formula presented.) /D, providing improved contrast-limited performance compared with JWST MIRI while operating at comparable wavelengths. We describe the performance characteristics of the 13- (Formula presented.) m GeoSnap array operating between 38 (Formula presented.) 45 K, including quantum efficiency, well depth, linearity, gain, dark current, and frequency-dependent ((Formula presented.)) noise profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20230103
JournalAstronomische Nachrichten
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023


  • CMOS
  • HgCdTe
  • MCT
  • detectors
  • image sensors
  • infrared arrays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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