P2.4 - Uncooled Amorphous Silicon IRFPA for High Performance and High Volume Applications

SENSOR+TEST Conferences 2009
2009-05-26 - 2009-05-28
Congress Center Nürnberg
Proceedings SENSOR 2009, Volume II
P2 - Thermal Sensors/Sensing
J. Tissot, A. Crastes, M. Vilain, O. Legras, S. Tinnes, C. Minassian, P. Robert, B. Fieque - ULIS, Veurey Voroize, France
311 - 315


For more than 10 years now, uncooled sensors have given new opportunities in the IR field of applications by being able to be produce in large volume. Compared to cooled technology, uncooled detectors offer many interesting advantages: high reliability, lower cost … whereas the performance is high enough for a lot of applications. Thermography, building inspection, enhanced driver vision and military (thermal weapon sight, low altitude UAV sensor) are applications which can be provided with affordable IR focal plane arrays….
As uncooled IR sensors are mainly dedicated to these high volume applications, any uncooled IRFPA technology has to be able to provide high performance sensors but also to be producible in large volume at a minimum cost.
The high level of accumulated expertise by ULIS and CEA/LETI on uncooled microbolometers made from amorphous silicon layer enables ULIS to develop a full range of IRFPA formats from 160 x 120 to 1024 x 768 pixels with 25 μm and 17 μm pixel-pitch, designed for high end and high volume applications.
The detector ROIC designs rely on a simple architecture (detector configuration addressed by a serial link for user defined amplifier gain, windowing capability …) which enables easier systems upgrade and therefore a reduced system development non recurrent cost.
The packaging technique depends on the application environment and the production volume in order to fit with the market expectation. Starting from metallic and ceramics package, very advanced new technique is under development in order to reduce uncooled IRFPA production cost.
NETD in the range of 30 mK (f/1, 300 K, 60 Hz) as well as operability higher than 99.99 %, are routinely achieved with amorphous silicon technology.