Proceedings PaperUncooled thermal imaging at Texas Instruments
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Texas Instruments is active in productizing uncooled thermal imaging systems for commercial and military products. The technology is based on the field-enhanced pyroelectric effect in ferroelectric barium-strontium titanate. The detector is mated to a readout IC (ROIC) via bump-bonding, and the single output from the ROIC is processed serially to provide both 8-bit digital and NTSC video outputs. Overall system cost is minimized and the electronics are simplified by using a scene-averaging chopper and operating the detector in its inherently ac- coupled mode. The past two years have been devoted to improving producibility, primarily of the uncooled focal plane array (UFPA) and its package. The result is a detector process that is 95% compatible with standard silicon processing. Although explicit performance improvement has been a secondary priority, the producibility improvements have led to a factor of two improvement in sensitivity. Recently demonstrated NETD is 0.047 degree(s)C with f/1 optics.