MEMS based thermopile infrared detector array for chemical and biological sensing

Period of Performance: 10/13/2010 - 04/11/2011


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

NEW Jersey Microsystems, Inc.
211 Warren Street
Newark, NJ 07103
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

North Carolina State University
Campus Box 7514
Raleigh, NC 27695
Institution POC


New Jersey Microsystems proposes to develop an economical thermopile array with sensitivity maximum in the long wave infrared region (LWIR). Current infrared detectors are too expensive to be widely deployed in large numbers. The proposed MEMS technology is simpler, more manufacturable, and therefore less expensive than bolometer and ferroelectric devices with competitive D* sensitivity. The thermopile array is optimized with a detection time constant of 35 milliseconds or less permitting fast-scan response to airborne contaminates. The NJM device continues our R&D work developing highly sensitive infrared MEMS sensors and imagers. The target sensitivity level D* of 1 x 10^8 Jones for each pixel of the thermopile array is consistent with earlier MEMS infrared imaging projects at NJM producing an NETD of 10 millidegK. Based on experience gained with previous LWIR developments, the NJM team is proposing an important technology step forward beyond that developed for far infrared sensors at NJM in the past.