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Introduction

Nanostructure-based Devices for Mid Infra-Red Applications (nanoMIR)

The nanoMIR group is one of the eight groups of “Institut d’Electronique du Sud”, a research laboratory of Université Montpellier 2 jointly operated by CNRS (UMR 5214). The group includes 12 permanent scientists and 5 permanent technical staff. Typically 10 to 15 PhDs or post-docs carry out their research in the group.

 

The mid-IR, i.e. the 2 – 12 µm wavelength range, exhibits transparence window of the atmosphere as well as strong absorption lines from many gas species. It is thus very well suited to develop a variety of important applications such as gas analysis (pollution control, process monitoring, physics of gases, of the atmosphere,…), medical applications (surgery, diagnosis,..), free-space communications, but also security- and defense-related applications (counter measures, detection of toxic species, of explosives,…).

 

The main objective of the nanoMIR group is to develop and investigate the photonc devices (lasers and photodetectors) which are needed for these applications. These devices rely on antimony (Sb) – based semiconductor nanostructures, i.e. on the family of III-V compounds built from GaSb, InAs, AlSb, InSb and their alloys. These compound semiconductors exhibit properties which allow the related devices to cover the whole range from the mid-IR to the long-wave IR.

 

Another objective of the group is to perform more fundamental studies to explore the whole potential of the antimony technology. Among others projects, one can cite, e.g., the fabrication of THz transistors, the integration of the Sb-based devices with the Si technology, or the use of plasmons in Mid-IR devices.

 

Finally, the group is also active in the development of semiconductor lasers with a ultra-high spectral purity as well as in the demonstration of new gas analysis systems.

 

NanoMIR competences span the whole field from semiconductor-nanostructure epitaxy to device and system-prototype implementation, via heterostructure characterizations, design, processing and investigations of devices. To reach its objectives the group has a number of fabrication and characterization set-ups devoted to material and device studies. In particular it runs two molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) systems, several FTIR spectrometers, a clean room equipped with basic facilities. 

 

The research of the group is or has been supported by a number of institutions or companies such as the European Commission (ICT and NMP programs), the French “Agence Nationale de la Recherche”, the French “DGA”, the Région Languedoc-Roussillon, the C’nano-GSO, ADEME, CNES, CNRS (INSIS), Université Montpellier 2, Thales, SAGEM, Photonis,…

 

The group is a world-leader in the technology of semiconductors for the mid-IR. It has achieved a number of breakthrough in the recent past which are detailed in the list of publications.