An analysis for the broad-band absorption enhancement using plasmonic structures on uncooled infrared detector pixels
This paper introduces an analysis on the absorption enhancement in uncooled infrared pixels using resonant plasmon modes in metal structures, and it reports, for the first time in literature, broad-band absorption enhancement using integrated plasmonic structures in microbolometers for unpolarized long-wave IR detection. Different plasmonic structures are designed and simulated on a stack of layers, namely gold, polyimide, and silicon nitride in order to enhance absorption at the long-wave infrared. The simulated structures are fabricated, and the reflectance measurements are conducted using an FTIR Ellipsometer in the 8-12 μm wavelength range. Finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations are compared to experimental measurement results. Computational and experimental results show similar spectral reflection trends, verifying broad-band absorption enhancement in the spectral range of interest. Moreover, this paper computationally investigates pixel-wise absorption enhancement by plasmonic structures integrated with microbolometer pixels using the FDTD method. Special attention is given during the design to be able to implement the integrated plasmonic structures with the microbolometers without a need to modify the pre-determined microbolometer process flow. The optimized structure with plasmonic layer absorbs 84 % of the unpolarized radiation in the 8-12 μm spectral range on the average, which is a 22 % increase compared to a reference structure with no plasmonic design. Further improvement may be possible by designing multiply coupled resonant structures.