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13 May 2010 Low cost, high performance far infrared microbolometer
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Far infrared (FIR) is becoming more widely accepted within the automotive industry as a powerful sensor to detect Vulnerable Road Users like pedestrians and bicyclist as well as animals. The main focus of FIR system development lies in reducing the cost of their components, and this will involve optimizing all aspects of the system. Decreased pixel size, improved 3D process integration technologies and improved manufacturing yields will produce the necessary cost reduction on the sensor to enable high market penetration. The improved 3D process integration allows a higher fill factor and improved transmission/absorption properties. Together with the high Thermal Coefficient of Resistance (TCR) and low 1/f noise properties provided by monocrystalline silicon germanium SiGe thermistor material, they lead to bolometer performances beyond those of existing devices. The thermistor material is deposited and optimized on an IR wafer separated from the read-out integrated circuit (ROIC) wafer. The IR wafer is transferred to the ROIC using CMOS compatible processes and materials, utilizing a low temperature wafer bonding process. Long term vacuum sealing obtained by wafer scale packaging enables further cost reductions and improved quality. The approach allows independent optimization of ROIC and thermistor material processing and is compatible with existing MEMS-foundries, allowing fast time to market.
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Audun Roer, Adriana Lapadatu, Anders Elfving, Gjermund Kittilsland, and Erling Hohler "Low cost, high performance far infrared microbolometer", Proc. SPIE 7726, Optical Sensing and Detection, 77260Z (13 May 2010);

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