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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Development of Nanostructured VOx Uncooled Bolometers

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

This is a simplified plan view of a vanadium oxide uncooled microbolometer.  The vanadium oxide is the thermistor and the silicon nitride is used to thermally link the thermistor with a heat reservoir.

We will develop innovative methods to fabricate vanadium oxide (VOx) thin films for uncooled microbolometers used in high fidelity land imaging.  Whereas commercial off-the-shelf VOx uncooled microbolometers are inexpensive options for land imaging, their performance is insufficient and has no room for improvement using current fabrication processes. We will fabricate a prototype microbolometer array with improved performance by incorporating the unique VOx thin films.

The end goal of this project is to develop proof-of-concept uncooled microbolometers which can be integrated in future thermal instruments engaged in land imaging on future observatories.

Another, secondary, goal of this project is to explore means of increasing the internal thermal time constant of VOx microbolometers.

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