Linear thermopile array for fast searching

Nami Shibata, Masaki Hirota, Fuminori Satou, Hidemi Yasui, Shinichi Morita

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A linear thermopile array with characteristics of high responsivity, fast response and low cost has been developed for use in searching for and detecting heat-radiating objects. The thermopile is fabricated by means of a silicon surface micromachining, compatible Si CMOS process and a lift-off technique, which results in a precisely patterned Au black absorption layer. The dynamic signal-to-noise ratio is proposed as a new figure of merit for evaluating thermal infrared sensors and is used to design the thermopile configuration so as to obtain optimum responsivity and thermal time constant. The newly fabricated thermopile array is composed of a zigzag arrangement of two rows of seven infrared sensing elements and achieves responsivity of 230 V/W and a thermal time constant of 0.5 msec. The array, incorporating an optical system with a 30-mm-diameter lens and an focal ratio (F/#) of 0.74, provides a dynamic S/N ratio of 6.9 at a scanning speed of 1,000 m/s and a distance of 80 m for a target with a background temperature difference of 25 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-555
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1999 Infrared Technology and Applications XXV - Orlando, FL, USA
Duration: Apr 5 1999Apr 9 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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