Smart uncooled IR sensor with wavelength selectivity – Fabrication progress report


  1. Paradis, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
This is a progress report on the fabrication of a prototype for a smart uncooled infrared sensor with wavelength selectivity (or tunability) in the longwave infrared (LWIR) band. If proven feasible, this concept for a new uncooled sensor would enhance surveillance when environmental conditions change as well as when searching for difficult targets such as recently buried mines. The fabrication technique used for the prototype is surface micromachining. Photolithography masks were designed and thin films were fabricated by sputtering. The successive films were built up and patterned onto a silicon wafer by photolithography. Up to now, the fabrication procedure consists of 45 steps. The fabrication process has presented numerous challenges, and a complete and fully functional prototype has not yet been achieved. We have successfully addressed many challenges either by optimizing procedures or by employing specialized instruments. Other challenges will be overcome in subsequent iterations of the mask. The most challenging stage of the fabrication process has been the release of the suspended membrane, which must be done at the very end of the process. Release of the membrane was achieved, but an unacceptable degree of membrane warpage was observed. Possible causes of the warpage include the fact that the reactor of the dry etcher used to remove the sacrificial material may not be configured correctly for optimal isotropic etching. Work continues on the fabrication process. The w

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Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TM-2009-345 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Apr 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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