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Team's Sensor Fit for Smartphones, Autonomous Vehicles


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electron microscope image of bolometer device

Electron microscope image of bolometer device.

Credit: Korea Institute of Science and Technology

A joint research team from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and Sungkyunkwan University has developed a thermal-imaging sensor that overcomes existing problems of price and operating-temperature limitations. The sensor can operate at temperatures up to 100°C without a cooling device and could pave the way for applications in smartphones and autonomous vehicles.

To be integrated with the hardware of smartphones and autonomous vehicles, sensors must operate stably without difficulties at high temperatures of 85°C and 125°C, respectively. Conventional thermal-imaging sensors do not meet this criterion without a costly independent cooling device.

The team developed a device using a vanadium dioxide (B) film that is stable at 100°C. The device detects and converts the infrared light generated by heat into electrical signals, which eliminates the need for cooling devices.

The work is described in "Wide-Temperature (Up to 100°C) Operation of Thermostable Vanadium Oxide Based Microbolometers with Ti/MgF2 Infrared Absorbing Layer for Long Wavelength Infrared (LWIR) Detection," published in the journal Applied Surface Science.

From National Research Council of Science & Technology
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