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- An uncooled infrared tunneling sensor in which the only moving part is a diaphragm which is deflected into contact with a micromachined silicon tip electrode prepared by a novel lithographic process. Similarly prepared deflection electrodes employ electrostatic force to control the deflection of a silicon nitride, flat diaphragm membrane. The diaphragm exhibits a high resonant frequency which reduces the sensor's sensitivity to vibration. A high bandwidth feedback circuit controls the tunneling current by adjusting the deflection voltage to maintain a constant deflection of the membrane. The resulting infrared sensor can be miniaturized to pixel dimensions smaller than 100 .mu.m. An alternative embodiment is implemented using a corrugated membrane to permit large deflection without complicated clamping and high deflection voltages. The alternative embodiment also employs a pinhole aperture in a membrane to accommodate environmental temperature variation and a sealed chamber to eliminate environmental contamination of the tunneling electrodes and undesireable accoustic coupling to the sensor.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20080004763.
- No Copyright.
View MARC record | catkey: 17029098