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Published June 1, 1979 | public
Journal Article Open

Microbolometers for infrared detection


We describe a novel room-temperature detector for the wavelength range 10–1000 µm. This detector consists of a thin bismuth bolometer film with dimensions much smaller than a wavelength. The small size of the detector results in reduced NEP and faster response. A video NEP of 1.6×10–10 W/Hz1/2 is obtained at 119 µm, remaining within a factor of 10 of this value for modulation frequencies up to 25 MHz. When used as a mixer, the device is predicted to have an NEP of 3.5×10–18 W/Hz. It is easily fabricated with conventional planar processing techniques and can be replicated in arrays. The device is expected to be most useful when the radiation to be detected is spatially coherent.

Additional Information

Copyright © 1979 American Institute of Physics (Received 8 January 1979; accepted for publication 19 March 1979) The authors wish to thank Professor A. L. Cullen and the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, for helpful discussions and hospitality and assistance to one of us (S.E.S.) during preparation of the manuscript. Research sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Office Grant DAAG29-76-G-0284, the National Science Foundation Grant ENG77-16059, and the Joint Services Electronics Program Contract F44620-76-C-0100.


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