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IR Sensor Production

Scientific Profile

The task of the IR sensor production working group is the production of thin-film thermal sensors for industrial use. The sensors are based on the thermoelectric conversion principle using V/VI compound semiconductors. They meet the requirements of highest detectivity for applications in the life sciences such as medical technology, MIR spectroscopy and pyrometry as well as for special developments for numerous space missions. Typical sensors have a high linearity over five orders of magnitude. Based on the technological platform established here, thin-film Peltier coolers are manufactured for the measurement of the smallest amounts of water and the associated very low dew point temperatures. The working group has a unique selling point through the production of AC-DC thermoconverters, which are used as secondary standard in cooperation with PTB Braunschweig and for which the group is the only supplier of national metrology institutes worldwide. 

The sensors are manufactured under the cleanest conditions in the clean room of the Leibniz IPHT using state-of-the-art MEMS methods on silicon wafers, tested, isolated and encapsulated by AVT methods according to customer specifications. 

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

Addressed Application Fields

  • 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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