Low-Cost LWIR-Band CMOS Infrared (CIR) Microbolometers for High Volume Applications

Akın T.

33rd IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS 2020, Vancouver, Canada, 18 - 22 January 2020, pp.147-152 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume:
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/mems46641.2020.9056383
  • City: Vancouver
  • Country: Canada
  • Page Numbers: pp.147-152
  • Keywords: Microbolometer, low-cost thermal imaging, uncooled thermal imaging, CMOS Infrared (CIR) Technology, CMOS MEMS, LWIR, thermal cameras, readout integrated circuit (ROIC), ARRAY


This paper provides an overview of the studies and the current status for the development of a novel, low-cost, and CMOS foundry compatible approach for implementing microbolometers with standard CMOS and simple post-CMOS subtractive MEMS processes. This CMOS infrared detector technology is shortly called as the CMOS IR (CIR) technology, and it can be used to implement Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs) for infrared imaging in the LWIR-band (8-12 mu m wavelength). Post-CMOS processes require only one mask lithography process and simple subtractive etching steps to obtain suspended bulk micromachined microbolometer pixels, where the detector element can be formed with standard CMOS layers and devices such as n-well layers, diodes, polysilicon, and some other CMOS layers and devices. Sensors of various pitch sizes (such as 70 mu m, 60 mu m, 50 mu m, and 35 mu m) and various FPA formats (such as 160x120, 80x80, and 40x40) have been demonstrated; some of these studies resulted in real commercial products in a VC funded spin-off company.