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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

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

Université Grenoble Alpes, F-38000 Grenoble, France
CEA, LETI, Minatec Campus, F-38054 Grenoble, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2018, 9(8), 401;
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)
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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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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