Cal Sensors PbS detectors suit IR sensing applications

Feb. 8, 2011
The SCD-13HV lead-salt (PbS) detectors for infrared (IR) sensing applications provide typical D* from 9 × 1010 to 1.75 × 1011 Jones across the 1–3 µm wavelength range, and support a glass window or lens configuration.

The SCD-13HV lead-salt (PbS) detectors for infrared (IR) sensing applications provide typical D* from 9 × 1010 to 1.75 × 1011 Jones across the 1–3 µm wavelength range, and support a glass window or lens configuration. For applications such as portable test equipment, a 1 × 1 mm detector in a TO-46 can is available, and for greater field-of-view, 2 and 3 mm2 sizes are available in TO-5 packages.
Cal Sensors
Santa Rosa, CA

[email protected]

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Cal Sensors also introduces time-saving digital drive board that optimizes detector performance

SANTA ROSA, CA –Cal Sensors ( announces the global launch of two new families of lead salt infrared detectors as well as the introduction of a new digital drive board. The new single channel detector (SCD) and multichannel detector (MCD) families provide industry-leading sensitivity and quality for a variety of infrared sensing applications. The new digital drive board optimizes detector performance and speeds product development processes.

The new SCD-13HV (single channel detector- high-value) PbS detectors are designed to meet today’s demanding requirements for high volume, cost-sensitive applications. Thanks to best-in-class process controls and automated production equipment, the SCD-13HV line combines industry-leading price/performance with exceptional repeatability and product consistency.

Key applications include fire safety and flame detection, as well as process and quality control applications.

SCD detectors provide exceptional sensitivity at great value, with typical D* from 9 x 1010 to 1.75 x 1011 Jones across the one to three micron wavelength range and high volume pricing of less than $25. Performance varies with element size and window type.

All SCD-13HV products support a glass window or lens configuration. Three element sizes are available in industry standard packages for easy integration. For applications where size is critical, such as portable test equipment, the SCD-13HV line offers a 1 mm by 1 mm detector in a TO-46 can. Where greater field-of-view or larger element sizes are important, 2 mm and 3 mm square detector sizes are available in TO-5 packages.

The new PbS and PbSe multi-channel detectors (MCD) provide market-leading sensitivity of 1.5 x 1010 Jones for detection of up to four distinct materials/gases. Covering one to five microns, the MCD product family provide exceptional channel isolation (>99.5%) and a compact TO-5 footprint with superior quality and reliability.

An optional integrated thermistor within the MCD package optimizes temperature compensation, maximizing measurement precision. Co-locating the temperature sensor and detector material in a hermetically-sealed TO-5 package ensures they both ‘feel’ the same temperature variations and reduce potential effects of external environmental factors.

The four channel configuration offers significant opportunities for cost reduction and design simplification minimizing the need for multiple individual detectors and complex optics. System costs and footprints can be reduced up to 60% versus alternative single-detector designs.

The technology is well-suited for a variety of applications including industrial and medical gas analysis, as well as auto and aviation emissions testing. It is ideal for environmental applications such as stack monitoring, greenhouse gas analysis and overseeing air quality in confined spaces including tunnels and underground structures.

Though highly customizable for different applications across the one to five micron infrared spectrum, the MCD-15 line is available in a standard four-channel configuration with four discrete optical bandpass filters. This configuration supports CO, CO2 , and hydro-carbon (such as methane) gas analysis. Customers also have the choice of specifying custom filters to meet specific application requirements.

Digital Drive Board
Cal Sensors has also launched a new Digital Drive Board that optimizes signal levels for Cal Sensors' one to four channel detectors. Designed with a socket that accepts Cal Sensor’s standard one to four-channel detectors, the digital board provides all the electronics necessary to drive the sensor, digitize the output and connect via USB to a computer or microprocessor. Thus, engineers can focus on the challenges of the system’s design by quickly validating detector viability. Supporting PbS and PbSe detector technologies, these drive boards were created to dramatically accelerate prototyping and product development.

Cal Sensors presented all three of its new technologies at booth 5325 of the SPIE-sponsored Photonics West exhibit held January 24-27 in San Francisco, California. Lead time for all three technologies is 12 weeks.


Cal Sensors Contact Information
For additional information or engineering assistance:

In North America, contact Cal Sensor’s Sales Department, 5460 Skylane Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403, USA. Phone: +1 (707) 303-3837. FAX: +1 (707) 545-5113. E-mail: [email protected] Web:

Cal Sensors also works with distributors in Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. For contact information – please visit

About Cal Sensors
Cal Sensors, an ITW company, has been a leading manufacturer of standard and customized photoconductive (PbS and PbSe) infrared detectors, arrays, and broadband emitters for over 20 years.

Cal Sensors detectors provide superior sensitivity over the 1-5.5 micron wavelengths. Detector configurations include single element, multi-channel, and arrays. Detector technologies include features such as optional spectral filters, optical condensers, thermoelectric coolers, temperature sensors and integrated drive electronics.

Cal Sensors emitters support steady-state or high-pulse rates over the visible to mid-infrared spectrums. Offering high emissivity, reliability and lifetime, Cal Sensors emitters are designed to optimize performance in infrared detection systems.

Manufactured and packaged in Santa Rosa, California and distributed worldwide, Cal Sensors products are offered in standard or custom packages. Common applications include: imaging, spectroscopy, medical, automotive emissions, gas and moisture analysis, temperature measurement, flame detection and combustion control. For additional information, please visit

About ITW Photonics Group
Cal Sensors is a member of the ITW Photonics Group. The ITW Photonics Group was created to bring together and build on the technical expertise of individual companies that specialize in photonics technology and span the full spectrum of wavelengths. The group consists of:

Cal Sensors - IR Detector and Emitter technology

Lumex - LED and LCD technology

Opto Diode Corp - LED, Silicon Photodiodes and Electro-Optical Assembly technology

The synergy of these three industry front-runners provides an unsurpassed range of photonic capabilities within a broad spectrum of markets, including medical, military and industrial controls. The ITW Photonics Group provides integrated solutions that encompass the technology and experience from all three business units, offering design engineers higher performance with greater feature enhancements. For additional information, please visit


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