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Jan 10th, 2014
With laser-doping, silicon responds to IR light
New IR imaging systems could be possible now that a new method has demonstrated that silicon is more responsive to IR light when laser-doped with one of its most dangerous impurities: gold.
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Detectors that are responsive to a broad range of IR light could form imaging arrays for security systems or solar cells that use a broader spectrum of the sun's energy. But efforts to develop such detectors using silicon have faced limitations — until now.

The method, developed at five institutions, including MIT, uses silicon, an abundant material that is relatively cheap, easy to process, and forms the basis of most semiconductor and solar cell technology. Normally, silicon lets most IR light pass right through it because its bandgap requires an energy level greater than that carried by photons.

To read more: http://www.photonics.com


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