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15 February 2012 Performance prediction and characterization of highly insulated microbolometers for space applications
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There is a demand for increasing the spatial resolution and swath width in Earth observation applications. To improve the resolution and swath width, increased thermal isolation and decreased pitch of the microbolometer need to be achieved. This paper reports on the investigation of different structures of highly insulated 35 μm pitch microbolometers. Each structure consists of two suspended Si3N4 platforms with the upper level containing the bolometer element and the lower level containing hinges of varying length. A numerical model was derived to predict the figures of merit of the structures prior to microfabrication. Experimental characterization was performed on microfabricated devices, confirming the computed results. The thermal conductance, in the range from 85 to 134 nW/K, varies inversely with the hinge length and the best responsivity was achieved on the sample with the longest hinge. The corresponding detectivity and response time were respectively 9 × 108 cmHz1/2/W and 8 ms approximately.
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Zhiqiang Xu, Linh Ngo Phong, and Timothy D. Pope "Performance prediction and characterization of highly insulated microbolometers for space applications", Proc. SPIE 8250, Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS and Nanodevices XI, 82500K (15 February 2012);

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