Direct-view uncooled micro-optomechanical infrared camera

M. Mao, T. Perazzo, O. Kwon, A. Majumdar, J. Varesi, P. Norton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the design, fabrication, and the first imaging results of a new uncooled infrared (IR) camera based on thermomechanical sensing and a novel optical readout technique that directly interfaces with the human eye. The system contains a focal plane array (FPA) consisting of bimaterial cantilever beams in each pixel. Absorption of the incident IR radiation by each cantilever beam raises its temperature, resulting in proportional deflection due to mismatch in thermal expansion of the two cantilever materials. A visible optical system is used to simultaneously measure the deflections of all the cantilever beams of the FPA using either Fabry-Perot interferometry or deformable diffraction gratings, and collectively project a visible image of the spatially-varying IR radiation directly on the human eye. The camera is designed to be sensitive in the spectral range of 8-14 μm which is key to night vision. The first results suggest that objects at temperatures as low as 100 °C can be imaged with the best noise-equivalent temperature difference (NEAT) in the range of 10 K. It is estimated that further improvements that are currently being pursued can improve NEAT to about 50 mK.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1999 12th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS - Orlando, FL, USA
Duration: 1999 Jan 171999 Jan 21


OtherProceedings of the 1999 12th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, MEMS
CityOrlando, FL, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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