IR Sensor Production

The group IR sensor production produces thin-film thermal sensors for a wide range of applications within the field of non-contact measurement technology. The sensors are based on the thermoelectrical effect using highly effective V/VI compound semiconductors. They meet the demand for highest detectivity for applications in life sciences such as medical technology, MIR spectroscopy, and pyrometry and are also used in special developments for numerous space missions. The sensors exhibit high linearity over five orders of magnitude. Based on the technological platform established at Leibniz-IPHT, thin-film Peltier coolers for measuring the smallest amounts of water and the associated very low dew point temperatures are also produced in addition to our photonic detectors. A unique selling point of the working group is the production of AC-DC thermal converters, which are used as a secondary standard in cooperation with PTB Braunschweig. For this purpose, the group is the only supplier worldwide for national metrology institutes. All sensors are produced on silicon wafers in the clean room of Leibniz-IPHT using state-of-the-art MEMS methods, characterized, separated and assembled, and encapsulated according to customer specifications using AVT methods. The quality assurance of core processes is in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001:2015.

Research Topics

  • Membrane technology based on adapted dielectric thin films (SiN, SiON)
  • Si-MEMS methods
  • Vacuum deposition of V/VI compound semiconductors

In order to meet future application-related and customer-specific requirements, the IR sensor production group works in close cooperation with the research group "Thermosensor Technology" on the following topics: 

  • Galvanic deposition of highly effective and temperature-stable IR absorbers
  • Development of both selective and broadband IR absorbers with high absorption efficiency from the near to far IR range
  • IR Focal Plane Arrays (FPA) 
  • Multi-level wiring and 3-dimensional sensor concepts
  • Highly sensitive thermoelectrically based sensors for chip calorimetry
  • Hermetic sealing techniques for inert gas filled housings/encapsulations (Xe, Kr, Ar, N2) by anodic bonding process
  • low-temperature bonding
  • Fiber-coupled thermoelectric sensors for measurement in hard-to-reach locations or hot spots

Areas of application

  • Thermoelectric sensor systems with high linearity and sensitivity
  • Use in measuring systems for applications in environment, health and medicine 
  • space applications
  • NDIR gas detection and analysis
  • AC-DC thermal converter
  • Hybrid sensor systems for simultaneous measurement of temperature, humidity and gas composition
  • Hyperspectral Imaging
  • dew point detection 
  • Miniaturized cooling elements for targeted condensate separation 
  • Antenna coupled uncooled THz detection

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