Microspectrometer Technology Could Improve Remote Imaging and Thermal Sensing

Press/Media: Press / Media

Period24 May 2022

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  • TitleLarge-area narrowband Fabry–Pérot interferometers for long-wavelength infrared spectral sensing
    DescriptionThis paper presents a proof-of-concept for microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based fixed cavity Fabry–Pérot interferometers (FPIs) operating in the long-wavelength infrared (LWIR, 8 to 12  μm) region. This work reports for the first time on the use of low-index BaF2 thin films in combination with Ge high-index thin films for such applications. Extremely flat and stress-free ∼3-μm-thick free-standing distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs) are also presented in this article, which were realized using thick lift-off of a trilayer structure fabricated using Ge and BaF2 optical layers. A peak-to-peak flatness was achieved for free-standing surface micromachined structures within the range of 10 to 20 nm across large spatial dimensions of several hundred micrometers. Finally, the optical characteristics of narrowband LWIR fixed cavity FPIs are also presented with a view toward the future realization of tunable wavelength MEMS-based spectrometers for spectral sensing. The measured optical characteristics of released FPIs agree with the modeled optical response after taking into consideration the fabrication-induced imperfections in the free-standing top DBR such as an average tilt of 15 nm and surface roughness of 25 nm. The fabricated FPIs are shown to have a linewidth of ∼110  nm and a suitable peak transmittance value of ∼50  %  , which meets the requirements for their utilization in tunable MEMS-based LWIR spectroscopic sensing and imaging applications requiring spectral discrimination with narrow linewidth.
    PersonsGurpreet Singh Gill