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Proceedings Paper

High-performance infrared thermoelectric bolometers based on nanomembranes
Author(s): Aapo Varpula; Kirsi Tappura; Jonna Tiira; Kestutis Grigoras; Kai Viherkanto; Jouni Ahopelto; Mika Prunnila
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Paper Abstract

The state-of-the-art infrared (IR) photodetectors are either thermal detectors (bolometers) or quantum detectors (photovoltaic and photoconductive detectors). Compared to quantum IR photodetectors, IR bolometers are slower and less sensitive but in turn, they offer lower cost without need for cooling and exotic materials (e.g. HgCdTe). Phonon/photon engineered materials offer interesting routes for enhancing room-temperature IR bolometers. We have recently demonstrated experimentally a nano-thermoelectric bolometer for long-wave IR detection. The technology utilizes efficient thermoelectric transducers based on silicon nanomembranes, which have an enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit arising from the low thermal conductivity stemming from the nano-scale thickness. For the absorption of the IR radiation the nano-thermoelectric bolometer utilizes a nanomembrane based quarter-wave resistive absorber, which is also known as the Salisbury screen. The use of nanomembranes in both the thermoelectric transducer and the absorber results in a very small thermal mass, and thereby high speed for the detector. In this article, we present an analytical model for quarter-wave resistive absorbers (i.e. Salisbury screens). It can be applied both in radio frequency (RF) and optical applications. The results of the analytical model are compared with the ones obtained with the transfer-matrix method using the optical material data available in the literature. We present also a device model of the nano-thermoelectric IR detector and estimate the full performance of this technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2020
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 11289, Photonic and Phononic Properties of Engineered Nanostructures X, 112891O (26 February 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2542194
Show Author Affiliations
Aapo Varpula, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Kirsi Tappura, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Jonna Tiira, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Kestutis Grigoras, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Kai Viherkanto, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Jouni Ahopelto, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Mika Prunnila, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11289:
Photonic and Phononic Properties of Engineered Nanostructures X
Ali Adibi; Shawn-Yu Lin; Axel Scherer, Editor(s)

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