IR detectors with adaptive responsivity and wavelength

W. B. Song, Joseph J Talghader

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Microbolometers and other thermal detectors have traditionally been limited to seeing objects in a broad wavelength band at a single sensitivity. Recent advances in interface heat transfer and optical cavity design promise to change that. In this paper, we present recent work on thermal infrared detectors with tunable responsivity and wavelength. First, we demonstrate that extended dynamic range in thermal detectors can be achieved by electrostatically bringing a portion of the detector support structure in contact with the substrate. The exact amount of heat transfer can be controlled by adjusting the contact area and pressure. The thermal conductance and responsivity can be switched more than an order of magnitude using this technique. Next, we demonstrate that a wavelength tunable device in the LWIR can be achieved by modifying the structure of a microbolometer to incorporate a modified Gires Tournois optical cavity. The cavity couples light at a single wavelength into the microbolometer while other wavelengths are rejected. We demonstrate that resonance can be tuned from 8.7 to 11.1 μm with applied voltages from 0 to 42 V. The FWHM of the resonance can be switched between around 1.5 μm in a narrow-band mode and 2.83 μm in a broad-band mode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications IV
StatePublished - 2007
EventMEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications IV - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 22 2007Jan 23 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceMEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Adaptive
  • Microbolometer
  • Responsivity
  • Tunable wavelength


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