Abstract

A thin-film capacitive bolometer is described, which depends on a temperature sensitivity derived from electron trapping effects in thin amorphous dielectric films containing an ionic space charge. The theory of this process is summarized and shown to be in good agreement with results obtained from anodized Nb2O5 capacitors. The capacitive elements can be formed on thin-film supporting structures to achieve large thermal detectivities D*. An analysis given for an optimized detector indicates that it is possible to reach the theoretical maximum D* at room temperature. Experimental detectors are described which were fabricated from anodized Nb2O5 and evaporated Al2O–TiO2 capacitors. Their performance at room temperature indicates responsivities of at least 2 mV/μW, effective time constants of about 0.05 sec, and D*’s in excess of 109.

© 1970 Optical Society of America

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