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Infrared responsivity of a pyroelectric detector with a single wall carbon nanotube coating



John H. Lehman, Evangelos Theocharous, Chaiwat Engtrakul, Anne Dillon


The performance of a 10 mm diameter pyroelectric detector coated with a single wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) coating was evaluated in the 0.8 µm to 20 µm wavelength range. The relative spectral responsivity of this detector exhibits significant fluctuations over the wavelength range examined. This is consistent with independent absorbance measurements which show that SWCNTs exhibit selective absorption bands in the visible and near-infrared. The performance of the detector in terms of noise equivalent power (NEP) and detectivity (D*) in wavelength regions of high coating absorptivity was comparable to gold-black-coated pyroelectric detectors based on 50 µm thick LiTaO3 crystals. The response of this detector was shown to be nonlinear for DC equivalent photocurrents > 10-9 A, and its spatial uniformity of response was comparable with other pyroelectric detectors utilizing gold-black coatings. The nonuniform spectral responsivity exhibited by the SWCNT-coated detector is expected to severely restrict the use of SWCNT's as black coatings for thermal detectors. However, the deposition of SWCNT coatings on a pyroelectric crystal followed by the study of the prominence of the dpectral features in the relative spectral responsivity of the resultant pyroelectric detectors is shown to provide an effective method for quantifying the impurity content in SWCNT samples.
Applied Optics


carbon nanotube, infrared, pyroelectric detector, spectral responsivity


Lehman, J. , Theocharous, E. , Engtrakul, C. and Dillon, A. (2008), Infrared responsivity of a pyroelectric detector with a single wall carbon nanotube coating, Applied Optics, [online], (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created July 22, 2008, Updated February 19, 2017