A Scalable Fabrication Process for Liquid Crystal-Based Uncooled Thermal Imagers

Shaun Berry, Carl O. Bozler, Robert K. Reich, Harry R. Clark, Phillip Bos, Valerie Finnemeyer, Colin McGinty
2016 Journal of microelectromechanical systems  
A novel sensor is being developed for a new uncooled imager technology that is scalable to large formats (tens of megapixels) which is greater than what is achieved by commercial microbolometer arrays. In this novel sensor, a liquidcrystal transducer is used to change a long-wavelength infrared scene into a visible image that can be detected using a conventional visible imager. This approach has the potential for making a more flexible thermal sensor that can be optimized for a variety of
more » ... a variety of applications. In this paper, we describe the microfabrication processes required to create an array of sealed, thermally isolated micro-cavities filled with liquid crystals to be used for an uncooled thermal imager. Experimental results from the fabricated arrays will also be discussed. Index Terms-Alignment layer, birefringence, liquid crystals, long-wavelength infrared, microbolometers, thermal imagers, uncooled thermal imagers.
doi:10.1109/jmems.2016.2555246 fatcat:l4haimbf5rcfjnh4aittzdpmaa