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Proceedings Paper

Integrated vacuum packaging for low-cost lightweight uncooled microbolometer arrays
Author(s): Barry E. Cole; Robert E. Higashi; Jeff A. Ridley; R. Andrew Wood
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Paper Abstract

Uncooled thermal infrared sensors require to be operated in an ambient gas pressure of about 50 mTorr or less to avoid sensitivity being reduced by thermal conduction through the gas. Although sealed packages have been developed which can retain a sufficiently low internal pressure for many years, the packaging process (cleaning, assembly, pumping, baking, getter firing, sealing) and materials add significant cost and weight. Lower cost it the major reason for the development of uncooled arrays, and low weight is essential for many applications (e.g. unmanned aerial vehicles, helmet mounted applications). In response to these needs, Honeywell has developed a silicon 'Integrated Vacuum Package' (IVP) process which produces a low-cost lightweight (0.2 gram) compact vacuum package by a wafer-scale process. The IVP process basically consists of bonding a silicon 'topcap' wafer to the array wafer, to produce a bonded double-wafer with multiple arrays protected in individual vacuum packages. The double- wafer may be easily handled without damage to the protected arrays, and diced into individual dies using normal silicon dicing techniques. It has been found helpful to use an etched evacuation via, which allows wafer bonding, pumping, baking and sealing to be performed in separate stages, at their different optimum times and temperatures. The IVP process will be described, and packages suitable for linear and two- dimensional uncooled arrays will be reported, with performance and lifetime measurements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 2001
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 4369, Infrared Technology and Applications XXVII, (10 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.445291
Show Author Affiliations
Barry E. Cole, Honeywell Labs. (United States)
Robert E. Higashi, Honeywell Labs. (United States)
Jeff A. Ridley, Honeywell Labs. (United States)
R. Andrew Wood, Honeywell Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4369:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXVII
Bjorn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Marija Strojnik, Editor(s)

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