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In Situ Observation of Carbon Nanotube Layer Growth on Microbolometers with Substrates at Ambient Temperature



Vojtech Svatos, Imrich Gablech, Robert Ilic, Jan Pekarek, Pavel Neuzil


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have near unity infrared (IR) absorption efficiency, making them extremely attractive in IR imaging devices. Since CNT growth occurs at elevated temperatures, integration of CNTs with IR imaging devices is challenging and has not yet been achieved. Here we show a strategy for implementing CNTs as IR absorbers using differential heating of thermally-isolated microbolometer membranes in a C2H2 environment. During the process, CNTs were catalytically grown on the surface of a locally-heated membrane while the substrate was maintained at an ambient temperature. CNT growth was monitored in situ in real time using optical microscopy. During growth, we measured the intensity of light emission and the reflected light from the heated microbolometer. Our measurements of bolometer performance show that the CNT layer on the surface of the microbolometer membrane increases the IR response by a factor of ≈ 2.3. This work opens the door to integrating near unity IR absorption, CNT based, IR absorbers with hybrid complementary metal oxide-semiconductor focal plane array architectures.
Journal of Applied Physics


infrared detection, microbolometers, carbon nanotubes, MEMS


Svatos, V. , Gablech, I. , Ilic, R. , Pekarek, J. and Neuzil, P. (2018), In Situ Observation of Carbon Nanotube Layer Growth on Microbolometers with Substrates at Ambient Temperature, Journal of Applied Physics, [online],, (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created March 19, 2018, Updated October 12, 2021