Use of Ion Implantation in the Construction of an Uncooled Microbolometer

Date of Graduation

Fall 1999


Master of Science in Materials Science


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Committee Chair

Ryan Giedd


Uncooled infrared (IR) bolometers have been constructed using a sensor bridge made of an electrically conductive polymer attached to a quartz substrate. The bridge is mounted on two sides and crosses an etched trough in the underlying substrate. Current is supplied to the bridge by means of two contacts on either attached end. The bridge material is made conductive through implantation of 1x10¹⁶ N⁺ ions/cm². The use of ion implanted polymers in building the IR sensor allows several advantages over the use of more conventional materials. The implanted polymers are very resistant to corrosive materials, and therefore do not change resistance when exposed to solvents used in processing. This allows spin coating, exposure and patterning of photoresist, and etching of the separation layers beneath the polymer bridge with no significant change in resistance. In addition, the relatively low mass of the polymer allows a reduction in the heat capacity of the bridge, leading to a greater temperature change per unit energy and therefore better detection qualities.

Subject Categories

Materials Science and Engineering


© Robert W Speer