infrared, millimeter-wave, detector, antenna-coupled, fabrication
Antenna-coupled detectors provide uncooled, cost-effective solutions for infrared and millimeter-wave imaging. This work describes the design, fabrication, measurement, and optimization of several types of antenna-coupled detectors for LWIR (8 - 12 µm) and 94 GHz radiation. Two types of millimeter-wave antenna-coupled detectors were fabricated and tested: a slot antenna coupled to a bolometer, and a patch antenna coupled to a SiC Schottky diode. Electromagnetic modeling of the antennas helped guide the design of antennas with better impedance matching to the detectors. Schottky diodes are discussed as detectors for millimeter-wave and infrared radiation, with the goal of increasing the cutoff frequency to allow infrared detection. The magnitude of response of antenna-coupled bolometric detectors to infrared radiation is affected by the thermal-conduction properties of the sensor structure. Two fabrication processes were developed to improve the thermal isolation of the antenna-coupled bolometer from its substrate. The first process creates a membrane beneath the device. Measured results show a factor of 100 increase in responsivity over an identical device without a membrane. The second process thermally isolates the device from its substrate by suspending the metallic structure in air. Several factors for optimization of infrared antenna-coupled detectors are investigated. The complex dielectric function of the metal from which the antenna is constructed can affect the performance of the device. The use of a ground plane and dielectric standoff layer beneath the antenna can increase the sensor responsivity. Dielectric material properties and thicknesses are considered, and incorporated in device simulations. Finally, a potential fabrication process is presented for via connections from the antenna-coupled detector through a ground plane to bond pads to mitigate the effect of bias lines on antenna behavior.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Optics and Photonics
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Middleton, Charles, "Antenna-coupled Infrared And Millimeter-wave Detectors: Fabrication, Measurement And Optimization" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 920.