Development of Uncooled Microbolometer Arrays for IR Imaging
Small Business Information
BREWER SCIENCE, INC.
2401 Brewer Drive, P.O. Box GG, Rolla, MO, 65401
Dr. Douglas Guerrero
AbstractIon-implanted, thin polymer films exhibit a large temperature coefficient of resistance which suggests their application in microbolometer arrays used for infrared ( IR) imaging and temperature mapping. Compared to current microbolometer designs which require a series of difficult deposition steps, an ion-implanted polymer-based device requires only a single layer which can be applied by spin coating and then, after ion implantation, can be easily patterned by plasma etching. Freestanding microbolometers can be prepared by simple sacrificial layer processes to increase thermal isolation and improve device sensitivity. In Phase I, we will fabricate planar microbolometer arrays using an ion--implanted polymer film as the active device material. The arrays will be characterized against specific physical and electrical design criteria with a goal of optimizing a test structure that can be use in a prototype IR imaging device. Two key electrical parameters, resistivity and TCR, Will be optimized to ultimately provide high sensitivity, response, resolution, and stability. Ion-implanted polymer microbolometers potentially offer greater sensitivity than current designs because of their low thermal mass and superior heat capacity and thermal conductivity properties. These features combined with the simple fabrication requirements open the possibility for producing low cost, uncooled IR focal plane detector arrays for a variety of military and civilian applications.
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