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Proceedings Paper

High-sensitivity uncooled microcantilever infrared imaging arrays
Author(s): Scott R. Hunter; Robert A. Amantea; Lawrence A. Goodman; David B. Kharas; Sergey Gershtein; James R. Matey; Steven N. Perna; Young Yu; Nagi Maley; Lawrence K. White
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Paper Abstract

The structure and operation of a new uncooled thermal infrared imaging detector is described which is composed of bimaterial, thermally sensitive microcantilever structures that are the moving elements of variable plate capacitors. The heat sensing microcantilever structures are integrated with CMOS control and amplification electronics to produce a low cost imager that is compatible with silicon IC foundry processing and materials. The bimorph sensor structure is fabricated using amorphous hydrogenated silicon carbide (a-SiC:H) as the low thermal expansion coefficient material, and gold as the high thermal expansion coefficient bimaterial (14 x 10-6/K). Amorphous hydrogenated silicon carbide is an ideal material in this application due to its very low thermal conductivity (0.34 W/m-K) and low thermal expansion coefficient (4x10-6/K). High resistivity (200-400 Ω/sq) thin Ti/W films are used as the infrared resonant cavity absorber and low thermal loss electrical interconnect to the substrate electrical contacts. A temperature coefficient of capacitance, ΔC/C, (equivalent to TCR for microbolometers) above 20% has been measured for these structures, and modeling of the performance of these devices indicates sensor performance in the range NETD < 5 mK and thermal time constants in the 5 -10 msec range are feasible with this technique. Our development efforts have focused on the fabrication of 320 x 240 imaging arrays with 50 micron pitch pixels. A number of these arrays have been fabricated with performance characteristics that are predicted by a detailed thermo-electro-optical-mechanical model of the sensor. The sensor design and the results from measurements of the thermo-electromechanical and optical properties of the detector arrays will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5074, Infrared Technology and Applications XXIX, (10 October 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.497576
Show Author Affiliations
Scott R. Hunter, Sarcon Microsystems, Inc. (United States)
Robert A. Amantea, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
Lawrence A. Goodman, Sarcon Microsystems, Inc. (United States)
David B. Kharas, Sarcon Microsystems, Inc. (United States)
Sergey Gershtein, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
James R. Matey, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
Steven N. Perna, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
Young Yu, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
Nagi Maley, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
Lawrence K. White, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5074:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXIX
Bjorn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop, Editor(s)

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