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Proceedings Paper

Micromachined antenna-coupled uncooled microbolometers for terahertz imaging arrays
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Paper Abstract

In recent years our group has made significant progress toward the goal of a scalable, inexpensive terahertz imaging system for the detection of weapons concealed under clothing. By actively illuminating the subject under examination with only moderate source power (few milliwatts) the sensitivity constraints on the detector technology are significantly lessened compared to purely passive millimeter-wave detection. Last year, we demonstrated a fully planar, optically lithographed, uncooled terahertz imaging array with 120 pixels on a silicon substrate 75 mm in diameter. In this paper we present the recent progress on improving the responsivity of the individual microbolometers by a simple technique of surface micromachining to reduce the substrate thermal conduction. We describe the microbolometer array fabrication and present results on devices with a measured electrical responsivity of over 85 V/W (electrical NEP ~25 pW/rtHz), an improvement by a factor of two over current substrate-supported bolometers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2004
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5411, Terahertz for Military and Security Applications II, (8 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.543236
Show Author Affiliations
Aaron J. Miller, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Arttu Luukanen, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Erich N. Grossman, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5411:
Terahertz for Military and Security Applications II
R. Jennifer Hwu; Dwight L. Woolard, Editor(s)

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