Abstract

The performance of a pyroelectric detector with a carbon multiwalled nanotube coating was evaluated in the 0.914µm wavelength range. The relative spectral responsivity of this detector was shown to be flat over most of the wavelength range examined, and the spectral flatness was shown to be comparable to the best infrared black coatings currently available. This finding is promising because black coatings with spectrally flat absorbance profiles are usually associated with the highest absorbance values. The performance of the detector (in terms of noise equivalent power and specific detectivity) was limited by the very thick (250µm thick) LiNbO3 pyroelectric crystal onto which the coating was deposited. The responsivity of this detector was shown to be linear in the 0.062.8mW radiant power range, and its spatial uniformity was comparable to that of other pyroelectric detectors that use different types of black coating. The carbon nanotube coatings were reported to be much more durable than other infrared black coatings, such as metal blacks, that are commonly used to coat thermal detectors in the infrared. This, in combination with their excellent spectral flatness, suggests that carbon nanotube coatings appear extremely promising for thermal detection applications in the infrared.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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