A scalable fabrication process for liquid crystal-based uncooled thermal imagers
June 1, 2016
A novel sensor is being developed for a new uncooled imager technology that is scalable to large formats (tens of megapixels), which is greater than what is achieved by commercial microbolometer arrays. In this novel sensor, a liquid-crystal transducer is used to change a long-wavelength infrared scene into a visible image that can be detected using a conventional visible imager. This approach has the potential for making a more flexible thermal sensor that can be optimized for a variety of applications. In this paper, we describe the microfabrication processes required to create an array of sealed thermally isolated micro-cavities filled with liquid crystals to be used for an uncooled thermal imager. Experimental results from the fabricated arrays will also be discussed.