More Lead for Infrared Detectors

Together with customers in Europe and abroad, Laser Components has taken a leading role in the industry and made every effort to ensure that the supply of PbX detectors remains secure. These companies have applied for exemption from the RoHS regulations in Brussels.

PbS is a standard SWIR semiconductor detector (1 – 3.3 µm) whereas PbSe is used in the MWIR range (1 – 4.7 µm when uncooled; up to 5.2 µm when cooled; source: Laser Components)

The EU directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS 2) contains a list of chemical elements and compounds that may no longer be used in electronic products. This includes lead in concentrations above 0.1 percent. The legislators are primarily concerned with tin solder that contains lead. However, this heavy metal is also a crucial component in the PbS and PbSe detectors manufactured by the Laser Components detector group.

Manufacturers can apply for exemptions from this rule if a product is indispensable for certain applications. Annex IV, point 1c of the directive explicitly mentions lead used in infrared detectors. Together with its customers, Laser Components has formed a consortium that has been able to prove that an alternative to using lead salt detectors in certain areas is not available.

“Many SMEs would simply be overwhelmed with the burden of EU law if they tried to take it on themselves,” says Sven Schreiber, who coordinated the activities at Laser Components. “As a well-known player in the international detector market, we have taken the initiative. We are confident that our application will be granted. This would benefit all market participants for another seven years. At that time, the exemption will be renewed.” (Source: Laser Components)

Link: PbS and PbSe Detectors, LASER COMPONENTS – Gesellschaft für den Vertrieb und die Fertigung von Lasern und optoelektronischen Komponenten mbH, Olching, Germany

Speak Your Mind

*