8 May 2017 Frequency selective infrared optical filters for micro-bolometers
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Abstract
Current micro-bolometers are broadband detectors and tend to absorb a broad window of the IR spectrum for thermal imaging. Such systems are limited due to their lack of sensitivity to blackbody radiation, as well as the inability to spectrally discern multiple wavelengths in the field of view for hyperspectral imaging (HSI). As a result, many important applications such as low concentration chemical detection cannot be performed. One solution to this problem is to employ a system with thermoelectrically cooled or liquid nitrogen cooled sensors, which can lead to higher sensitivity in detection. However, one major drawback of these systems is the size, weight and power (SWaP) issue as they tend to be rather bulky and cumbersome, which largely challenges their use in unmanned aerial vehicles. Further, spectral filtering is commonly performed with large hardware and moving gratings, greatly increasing the SWaP of the system. To this point, Lumilant’s effort is to develop wavelength selective uncooled IR filters that can be integrated onto a microbolometer, to exceed the sensitivity imposed by the blackbody radiation limit. We have demonstrated narrowband absorbers and electrically tunable filters addressing the need for low-SWaP platforms.
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Timothy A. Creazzo, Mathew J. Zablocki, Lenin Zaman, Ahmed Sharkawy, Mark S. Mirotznik, Dennis W. Prather, "Frequency selective infrared optical filters for micro-bolometers", Proc. SPIE 10194, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX, 101942X (8 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2262874; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262874
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