Suspended vertical diodes for LWIR detection

Published : 8 February 2020

Uncooled thermal detectors absorb the infrared flux for wavelengths from 7µm to 14µm. This corresponds to an atmospheric transmission window and to the maximum emission of a blackbody at 300K, which enables the detection of temperature variations of less than 100mK. The operating principle of microbolometers is based on the temperature measurement of a suspended membrane absorbing the infrared flux. The thermal transducer is the sensitive element of the microbolomètre, which determines its signal-to-noise ratio and therefore the performance of the bolometric pixel. In recent years, the miniaturization of microbolometer technologies has led to pixel size reduction down to 12 µm and has been accompanied by a reduction of manufacturing costs. However the current technology reaches its limits in a way that it becomes extremely difficult to pursue the pixel size reduction.

The thesis topic is the study of a breakthrough technology for microbolometers. Unlike conventional detectors, which use thermistor for the thermal transduction, the proposed research topic will examine an original technology based on vertical diodes. The subject will focus on characterizing and modeling the performance of such a device.

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