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In comparison to traditional infrared detectors, which are based on semiconductors made of a mercury-cadmium-telluride alloy, the SWNTs are an order of magnitude more efficient, the researchers report.
The Raytheon/Sanders warner, which takes a mercury-cadmium-telluride (HgCdTe) approach, uses the same form factor, mechanical interfaces and electrical interfaces as the CMWS.
Today's best infrared (heat) detectors -- largely used by the military (as night scopes to view troops and weapons) and on remote-sensing satellites -- rely on mercury-cadmium-telluride semiconductors.