Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physics - (M.S.)

Department

Physics

First Advisor

N. M. Ravindra

Second Advisor

Ken Keunhyuk Ahn

Third Advisor

Cristiano L. Dias

Fourth Advisor

Peter Kaufman

Abstract

The design and performance simulation of a novel Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) based infrared detector, that utilizes coefficient of thermal expansion, is discussed. The detector design uses a variety of thermal expansion coefficient materials, including alloys which are connected to ambient through a thermal conducting bridge. The thermal flux, due to the incident IR photons, is determined by the Extended Blackbody Calculator (BBC). These materials are physically interfaced with different types of piezoelectric resonators, constructed using the MEMS process. The expansion due to heating, applies stress to the piezoelectric resonator material. This thermally induced stress forces the resonator to alter its physical frequency and produces a voltage across its ends, as dictated by the piezoelectric effect. The device performance is characterized in terms of the resonator frequency and voltage as a function of the focal plane array’s (pixel’s) temperature. The detector performance is comparable to that of commonly used IR imaging systems currently available in the MWIR and LWIR spectral range.

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