The use of pyroelectric materials and devices in infrared imaging cameras is now a well established technology. The pyroelectric vidicon camera tube has given rise to a range of inexpensive thermal imagers which operate at ambient temperatures, without a requirement for cooling, and are suitable for all but the most demanding roles. The pyroelectric retina of the camera tube is equivalent to a large two dimensional array of detector elements which is addressed and read out by the electron beam. Because of this large number of equivalent elements, in excess of 5 104, the moderate detectivity of the pyroelectric detector is enabled to image temperature differences in the scene down to less than 1°C. In recent research, the attention has turned to solid state readout of large pyroelectric detector arrays and in particular to the possibility of interfacing the pyroelectric array directly with a silicon chip. The aim is to improve both the discrimination of scene temperature and also the physical characteristics such as size, power requirements and ruggedisation. Devices comprising from several hundred detectors up to many thousands in various two-dimensional formats are of immediate interest.
"Interface Design For The Pyroelectric/CCD Hybrid", Proc. SPIE 0395, Advanced Infrared Sensor Technology, (30 November 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.935185; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.935185