A Prism-Based Optical Readout Method for MEMS Bimaterial Infrared Sensors

Ulas Adiyan, Fehmi Civitci, Onur Ferhanoglu, Hamdi Torun, Hakan Urey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This letter demonstrates a novel prism-based optical-readout, which uses a single prism to detect the incoming TM polarized wave just below the critical angle. The method is used with a 35-μm-pixel pitch MEMS thermal sensor, whose inclination angle changes with the absorbed infrared (IR) radiation that results in an increase in the reflectivity at the prism's glass-air interface. We compared this approach with the conventional knife-edge method. Noise equivalent temperature difference for a single sensor was measured as 200 mK for knife-edge method, and 154 mK for the proposed critical angle approach. Our approach shows a significant improvement for the sensitivity of the IR sensor. Both methods utilize an AC-coupled readout method for a single MEMS pixel using a photodetector, which responds only to changes in the scene. This method can be scaled to achieve smart pixel cameras for read sensor arrays with low-noise and high-dynamic range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7480838
Pages (from-to)1866-1869
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • AC coupling
  • IR detection
  • Thermo-mechanical MEMS
  • critical angle
  • optical readout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A Prism-Based Optical Readout Method for MEMS Bimaterial Infrared Sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this