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Proceedings Paper

Recent advances in the modelling of the thermal conductance of uncooled microbolometers
Author(s): Johan Schoeman; Monuko du Plessis
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents an extensive overview and a comparison of the most popular models used to make an analytic prediction of the thermal conductance of uncooled microbolometers. The concept of an uncooled microbolometer has existed for many decades, along with simple methods to determine the thermal conduction both under vacuum and at atmospheric conditions. However, recent advances and the maturation of the MEMS fabrication technology have sparked a renewed research interest in these devices, including a number of improvements in the analytic modelling of the thermoelectric interaction, notably also improvements in the prediction of the thermal conduction. A comparison is made between a number of recent techniques, adapted for either thin-film metal or semiconductor type detector materials, operating either at vacuum conditions or atmospheric pressure conditions, as well as adjustable pressure conditions. The approach followed in the work is to determine the various parameters by means of the proposed analytic methods, which is then compared to multiphysics FEM simulation results. This comparison provides essential information regarding the shortcomings of the traditional methods. Finally, the results are also compared with experimentally extracted results from manufactured devices. The last set of results offer insight into manufacturing deviation. It is shown that the traditional methods often suffer from a significant error, sometimes in the region of almost 40%, in the prediction of the thermal conductance, which can be largely removed by using the appropriate modified analytic model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 February 2017
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 10036, Fourth Conference on Sensors, MEMS, and Electro-Optic Systems, 100360B (3 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2245720
Show Author Affiliations
Johan Schoeman, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)
Monuko du Plessis, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10036:
Fourth Conference on Sensors, MEMS, and Electro-Optic Systems
Monuko du Plessis, Editor(s)

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