Pixel size reduction in an uncooled infrared detector plays a crucial role in determining significant attributes such as size, weight, and cost. Without a loss in sensitivity, however, it is challenging to develop an uncooled infrared detector that has the pixel pitch of 12 μm and below. Especially, there has been a limitation of an uncooled focal plane array (FPA) with a single-level design, which has to accomplish both functions of absorption and heat conduction in a single layer and thus compromise the sensitivity of FPA. A selective etching process of a resistive material, titanium oxide, on the connecting legs in the microbolometer FPA has been developed to overcome the limitation and increase the sensitivity of the single-level design FPA. Furthermore, structural stress modulation has been applied to ensure the mechanical robustness of the developed FPA. Here, we present a 12 μm single-level design FPA using a titanium oxide as a resistive material of microbolometer FPA. High-resolution detectors with an array size of 640 x 480 pixels (VGA format) and 1024 x 768 pixels (XGA format) have been developed, and the noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) and time constant for the VGA detector are 40.5 mK and 8.3 msec, respectively. Thermal image obtained by the 12 μm XGA detector shows excellent image quality and fine resolution.
Yong Jin Jeong, Sang Gu Kang, Myung Ho Kwon, and Han Jung, "Development of titanium oxide based 12µm pixel pitch uncooled infrared detector," Proc. SPIE 10624, Infrared Technology and Applications XLIV, 106241F (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 19, 2018; Published: 31 May 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2309764.
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