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Proceedings Paper

Optical and infrared detection using microcantilevers
Author(s): Patrick Ian Oden; Eric A. Wachter; Panos G. Datskos; Thomas G. Thundat; R. J. Warmack
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Paper Abstract

The feasibility of micromechanical optical and infrared (IR) detection using microcantilevers is demonstrated. Microcantilevers provide a simple means for developing single- and multi-element sensors for visible and infrared radiation that are smaller, more sensitive and lower in cost than quantum or thermal detectors. Microcantilevers coated with a heat absorbing layer undergo bending due to the differential stress originating from the bimetallic effect. Bending is proportional to the amount of heat absorbed and can be detected using optical or electrical methods such as resistance changes in piezoresistive cantilevers. The microcantilever sensors exhibit two distinct thermal responses: a fast one ((tau) 1thermal less than ms) and a slower one ((tau) 2thermal approximately 10 ms). A noise equivalent temperature difference, NEDT equals 90 mK was measured. When uncoated microcantilevers were irradiated by a low-power diode laser ((lambda) equals 786 nm) the noise equivalent power, NEP, was found to be 3.5 nW/(root)Hz which corresponds to a specific detectivity, D*, of 3.6 multiplied by 107 cm (DOT) (root)Hz/W at a modulation frequency of 20 Hz.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 1996
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2744, Infrared Technology and Applications XXII, (27 June 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.243523
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick Ian Oden, Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
Eric A. Wachter, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
Panos G. Datskos, Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
Thomas G. Thundat, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
R. J. Warmack, Univ. of Tennessee (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2744:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXII
Bjorn F. Andresen; Marija S. Scholl, Editor(s)

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