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Proceedings Paper

Electrostatic MEMS chopper for uncooled IR Detectors
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Paper Abstract

An electrostatic MEMS actuator, known as the 'Artificial Eyelid' can be used as a micromechanical chopper for uncooled iR detectors such as pyroelectrics and microbolometers. These flexible film actuators act as tightly curled shutters, providing transmission of IR radiation to the sensor elements when open and reflection of the IR when closed. The actuator structure consists of a curled polymer/metal film stack which is microfabricated and released from an IR transparent substrate. The film stack is uncurled by applying an electric field between the curled film and the transparent fixed electrode on the substrate. Devices produced to date have ranged in size from 50 microns to 2 mm on a side and can be fabricated in array form to chop the IR signal for a FPA. Recently, 4×4 mm arrays wiht actuator elements ranging in size from 250×600 microns to 600×1000 microns have been fabricated with 95-100 percent of the elements functioning at 150-280 V. Current status of the development of these actuators and testing of micromechanical chopper arrays will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published:
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4820, Infrared Technology and Applications XXVIII, ; doi: 10.1117/12.500951
Show Author Affiliations
David Dausch, MCNC (United States)
Scott Goodwin-Johansson, MCNC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4820:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXVIII
Bjorn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Marija Strojnik, Editor(s)

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