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Analysis and Design of Thermoelectric Infrared Microsensor

[+] Author Affiliations
Ke-Min Liao, Rongshun Chen

National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Bruce C. S. Chou

LighTuning Technology, Inc., Hsinchu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Paper No. IMECE2003-41348, pp. 211-216; 6 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Microelectromechanical Systems
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Microelectromechanical Devices Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3721-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


In this study, a novel thermoelectric infrared microsensor (TIMS) is designed by using commercial CMOS IC processes with subsequent bulk-micromachining process. This microsensor has the advantages of high fill factor, low noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD), and simple fabrication process. The key feature is that thermocouple cantilever beams with low solid thermal conductance have been placed under the membrane of thermoelectric infrared microsensor. In order to improve the performance of the infrared sensor, the basic physical characteristics of this sensor have been analyzed. Finite element analysis is used to simulate the electro-thermo-mechanical behavior of the device and to demonstrate the feasibility of our design. Besides, a method for manufacturing the infrared microsensor is also provided and the performance of the presented design has been examined. The analytical results concluded that lowering down the number of the thermocouples does not affect the responsivity but do reduce the total resistance. Also, the detectivity and responsivity are obviously increased for the proposed TIMS. Finally, the deviation between the theoretical and the simulated results is discussed.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME
Topics: Design , Microsensors



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