Photomechanical IR-detecting Sensor
Tech ID: 17572 / UC Case 2006-003-0
Mid to far-infrared (IR) radiation sensors have many medical, industrial, commercial and military applications. However, IR sensor designs that offer high sensitivity require ultra low temperatures -- this adds to their complexity and makes them unsuitable for many applications. Moreover, existing types of IR sensors that don't require cooling are subject to thermal noise resulting in low sensitivity and resolutions. These uncooled IR sensors also are often difficult to scale (the majority with pixel sizes of usually 30 or more microns), and some of these sensors require thermal stabilization that in turn makes them complex and cost-prohibitive.
To address these limitations, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a new class of IR sensors based on an organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) with a photomechanical polymer. Through careful synthesis of the polymers, the photomechanical response of the transistor can be tailored to certain IR bands for detection purposes.
In comparison to existing high-sensitivity sensors for mid to far IR applications, these photomechanical polymer thin-film transistor (PPTFT) sensors don't require cooling resulting in a large reduction in size and complexity -- making them cost-effective, portable and durable. Moreover due to their fabrication similarity with OTFTs used in displays, these PPTFT sensors can be bulk fabricated in large volumes and scaled to large arrays.
Mid to far IR radiation sensing in medical, industrial, commercial and military applications
- High sensitivity
- No cooling or thermal stabilization required
- High-volume, bulk fabrication
- Scalable to large arrays
- Cost-effective, portable and durable