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Proceedings Paper

Small pitch high performance thermopile focal plane arrays
Author(s): David Kryskowski
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Paper Abstract

This paper will show that with our new readout approach, thermopile focal plane arrays can now reach the necessary LWIR performance levels that have been set by current microbolometer technology. Moreover, this paper shows that these new focal plane arrays can be made in commercial foundries using standard low cost CMOS. Besides improved performance, the additional benefit afforded by using these advanced thermopile focal plane arrays will be a simpler, more robust instrument. These attributes translate directly to lower cost and greater commercial potential. Detailed modeling shows that 25 μm, 17 μm and 12μm pitch thermopile focal plane arrays compare favorably in performance (NETD, τth) against microbolometer focal plane arrays with similar array size and detector geometry. The benefit of using thermopile focal plane arrays is the near elimination of 1/f noise and offset drift which has plagued microbolometers from their inception. Because of this noise reduction, shutterless operation should be possible. It is also shown that high performance thermoelectric materials are compatible with post- CMOS MEMS processes which, again, compares favorably to microbolometer focal plane arrays. Due to the potential lower system cost with thermoelectrics, these focal plane arrays could provide the path to deliver very low cost, high volume infrared imaging devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 May 2011
PDF: 28 pages
Proc. SPIE 8012, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXVII, 80123W (21 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883710
Show Author Affiliations
David Kryskowski, UD Holdings LLC (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8012:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXXVII
Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Paul R. Norton, Editor(s)

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