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20 May 2011 Performance improvement in amorphous silicon based uncooled microbolometers through pixel design and materials development
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Uncooled amorphous silicon microbolometers have been established as a field-worthy technology for a broad range of applications where performance and form factor are paramount, such as soldier-borne systems. Recent developments in both bolometer materials and pixel design at L-3 in the 17μm pixel node have further advanced the state-of-the-art. Increasing the a-Si material temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) has the impact of improving NETD sensitivity without increasing thermal time constant (TTC), leading to an improvement in the NETD×TTC product. By tuning the amorphous silicon thin-film microstructure using hydrogen dilution during deposition, films with high TCR have been developed. The electrical properties of these films have been shown to be stable even after thermal cycling to temperatures greater than 300oC enabling wafer-level vacuum packaging currently performed at L-3 to reduce the size and weight of the vacuum packaged unit. Through appropriate selection of conditions during deposition, amorphous silicon of ~3.4% TCR has been integrated into the L-3 microbolometer manufacturing flow. By combining pixel design enhancements with improvements to amorphous silicon thin-film technology, L-3's amorphous silicon microbolometer technology will continue to provide the performance required to meet the needs to tomorrow's war-fighter.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Sameer Ajmera, John Brady, Charles Hanson, Tom Schimert, A. J. Syllaios, and Michael Taylor "Performance improvement in amorphous silicon based uncooled microbolometers through pixel design and materials development", Proc. SPIE 8012, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXVII, 80121L (20 May 2011);


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