OE Letters

Characterization of a low-cost, commercially available, vanadium oxide microbolometer array for spectroscopic imaging

[+] Author Affiliations
David Benirschke, Scott Howard

University of Notre Dame, Department of Electrical Engineering, Notre Dame, Indiana, United States

Opt. Eng. 56(4), 040502 (Apr 17, 2017). doi:10.1117/1.OE.56.4.040502
History: Received December 19, 2016; Accepted March 27, 2017
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Abstract.  Many long-wave infrared spectroscopic imaging applications are limited by the portability and cost of detector arrays. We present a characterization of a newly available, low-cost, uncooled vanadium oxide microbolometer array, the Seek Compact, in accordance with common infrared detector specifications: noise-equivalent differential temperature (NEDT), optical responsivity spectra, and Allan variance. The Compact’s imaging array consists of 156×206  pixels with a 12-μm pixel pitch, 93% of the pixels yield useful temperature readings. Characterization results show optical response between λ=7.4 and 12  μm with an NEDT of 148 mK (at 7  fps). Comparing these results to a research-grade camera, the Seek Compact exhibits a 4× and 48× reduction in weight (2.0/0.5  lbs) and cost ($12,000/$250) but takes 93× longer to achieve the same NEDT (1.55  s/16.6  ms for 45 mK). Additionally, a proof-of-concept spectral imaging experiment of SiN thin films is conducted. Leveraging this price reduction and spectroscopic imaging capability, the Seek Compact has potential in enabling field-deployable and distributed active midinfrared spectroscopic imaging, where cost and portability are the dominate inhibitors and high frame rates are not required.

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© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

David Benirschke and Scott Howard
"Characterization of a low-cost, commercially available, vanadium oxide microbolometer array for spectroscopic imaging", Opt. Eng. 56(4), 040502 (Apr 17, 2017). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.4.040502


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