15 December 2000 Optical readout of uncooled thermal detectors
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We investigated microposition sensing of micro-electro- mechanical systems (MEMS) that is based on optical readout techniques. We determined the parameters that affect or limit the performance of optical readout techniques especially as they apply to detection of infrared radiation. Such microposition sensing schemes are very important as readout mechanisms for large arrays of microstructures which are required for imaging. In addition, we explored the performance of uncooled micromechanical IR sensors using Fresnel zone plates (FZP). This type of diffractive feature diffracts along the optical axis and not perpendicular to that axis. We found that temperature fluctuation noise and background fluctuation noise, are currently the limits to the performance of uncooled micromechanical IR detectors. The noise at the output of the optical readout includes amplified noise from the micromechanical structures and noise added by the optical readout itself. However, the added noise is negligible compared to the amplified temperature fluctuation noise inherent in the microstructures. In this context an optical readout is nearly an ideal, noiseless readout method.
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Panos G. Datskos, Panos G. Datskos, Slobodan Rajic, Slobodan Rajic, Larry R. Senesac, Larry R. Senesac, Dennis Duncan Earl, Dennis Duncan Earl, Boyd M. Evans, Boyd M. Evans, James L. Corbeil, James L. Corbeil, Irene Datskou, Irene Datskou, } "Optical readout of uncooled thermal detectors", Proc. SPIE 4130, Infrared Technology and Applications XXVI, (15 December 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.409842; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.409842

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