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Micromachines 2018, 9(8), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9080401

Array of Resonant Electromechanical Nanosystems: A Technological Breakthrough for Uncooled Infrared Imaging

1
Université Grenoble Alpes, F-38000 Grenoble, France
2
CEA, LETI, Minatec Campus, F-38054 Grenoble, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of CMOS-MEMS/NEMS Devices)
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Abstract

Microbolometers arethe most common uncooled infrared techniques that allow 50 mK-temperature resolution to be achieved on-scene. However, this approach struggles with both self-heating, which is inherent to the resistive readout principle, and 1/f noise. We present an alternative approach that consists of using micro/nanoresonators vibrating according to a torsional mode, and whose resonant frequency changes with the incident IR-radiation. Dense arrays of such electromechanical structures were fabricated with a 12 µm pitch at low temperature, allowing their integration on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) circuits according to a post-processing method. H-shape pixels with 9 µm-long nanorods and a cross-section of 250 nm × 30 nm were fabricated to provide large thermal responses, whose experimental measurements reached up to 1024 Hz/nW. These electromechanical resonators featured a noise equivalent power of 140 pW for a response time of less than 1 ms. To our knowledge, these performances are unrivaled with such small dimensions. We also showed that a temperature sensitivity of 20 mK within a 100 ms integration time is conceivable at a 12 µm pitch by co-integrating the resonators with their readout electronics, and suggesting a new readout scheme. This sensitivity could be reached short-term by depositing on top of the nanorods a vanadium oxide layer that had a phase-transition that could possibly enhance the thermal response by one order of magnitude. View Full-Text
Keywords: nano resonator; nano-system array; uncooled IR-bolometer nano resonator; nano-system array; uncooled IR-bolometer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Duraffourg, L.; Laurent, L.; Moulet, J.-S.; Arcamone, J.; Yon, J.-J. Array of Resonant Electromechanical Nanosystems: A Technological Breakthrough for Uncooled Infrared Imaging. Micromachines 2018, 9, 401.

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