Novel Materials for IR Microbolometer Arrays
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
Ion implanted, thin polymer films exhibit a large temperature coefficient ofresistance which suggest their application in microbolometer arrays used for infrared(IR) imaging and temperature mapping. Compared to current microbolometer designswhich require a series of difficult deposition steps, an ion implanted polymer-baseddevice requires only a single layer which can be applied by spin coating and then,after ion implantation, can be easily patterned by plasma etching. Freestandingmicrobolometers can be prepared by simple sacrificial layer process to increasethermal isolation and improve device sensitivity.In Phase I, we will fabricate 1x8 linear microbolometer arrays using an ion-implanted polymer film as the active device material. The arrays will becharacterized against specific physical and electrical design criteria with a goalof optimizing a test structure that can be use in a prototype IR imaging device. Keyelectrical parameters, resistivity, TCR, responsivity, and NEP will be determine andcorrelated to ion implantation process. Ion-implanted polymer microbolometerspotentially offer greater sensitivity than current designs because of their lowthermal mass and superior heat capacity and thermal conductivity. These featurescombined with the simple fabrication requirements open the possibility for producinglow cost, uncooled IR focal plane arrays for a variety of military and civilianapplications.There is a vast market for uncooled IR imaging devices. This program will demonstratean easy-to-fabricate microbolometer array suitable for high quality thermal imaging inan uncooled mode. The availability of this low cost focal plane array detectortechnology will expand IR imaging into a host of new commercial and militaryapplications.
Small Business Information at Submission:
BREWER SCIENCE, INC.
2401 Brewer Drive Rolla, MO 65401
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