24 April 2003 Advanced MEMS-based infrared imager
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Abstract
Infrared radiation imager is of important for a wide range of applications. IR infrared imagers have not been widely available due to cost and complexity issues. A major cost of IR imager is associated with the requirements of cooling and pixel-level integration with electronic amplifier and read-out circuitry that are often incompatible with the detector materials. Recent research activities have lead to a new class of IR imager based on thermally isolated MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) arrays whose bending can be directly detected by optical means. This approach eliminates the need for cooling and complex electronic multiplexers, holding the potential to drastically reduce IR imager cost. However, MEMS based IR imaging devices demonstrated to date are less sensitive than the commercially available ones. We have established a comprehensive finite element model (FEM) using Ansys tool. An accurate computer model for the proposed MEME IR detector is critical for the device development and fabrication. The model greatly enhanced our capability to cost effectively optimize the design from concept to fabrication layout. Our model predicts the deformation of this pixel structure under a surface stress for both thermal and photo-induced effects under various conditions. This simulation model provided a design base for new generation of optical MEMS IR sensors that has higher sensitivity and the potential of incorporating passive thermal amplification. Our simple MEMS design incorporates optical read-out, which eliminates the drawback of electronic means that inevitably introduce additional signal loss due to thermal contact made to the detector element. When packaged under vacuum environment, significant sensitivity improvement is anticipated. The deflection of a cantilever as a function of a rise in its temperature is determined by the classical thermomechanical governing equation for a bimaterial cantilever beam. Our finite element model is established using brick element to mesh the structure for good accuracy. Numerical simulation procedures are as following:
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Ming Chen, Ming Chen, } "Advanced MEMS-based infrared imager", Proc. SPIE 5116, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS, (24 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.512084; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.512084
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