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Extraordinary TCR in Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composites and Device Implications in Bolometric Infrared Detection
BROWN UNIV PROVIDENCE RI
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The development of high TCR materials, such as vanadium oxide VOx, has enabled the introduction of bolometric infrared sensors to the field of uncooled infrared imagers and detection. Many other devices are currently available for remote thermometry applications i.e. laser thermometer guns and small pixel-count thermal cameras are beginning to make their way into the realm of consumer electronics, although their costperformance ratio still is unsatisfactory. We propose a study of a new material platform that holds the promise of both breaking the current record of TCR achieved in VOx and introducing a new threshold activation responsivity. This new material, made of polymer-carbon nanotube composite, is inherently low in mass density, high in broadband absorption, flexible and conformal, and scalable in size. We shall also investigate the feasibility of tuning the peak TCR value and the threshold temperature via compositional and polymer engineering. With an order of magnitude increase in TCR over that of VOx achievable in this new platform, this study could lead to a substantial improvement in bolometric IR responsivity and a potential breakthrough in IR response speed, and thereby to a novel, scalable, high speed and high sensitivity base material for deployment in future bolometric IR detectors.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE