Thermal imager using metamaterials

Patent Number: 8,450,690
Issued: 5/28/2013
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: An apparatus and method are disclosed for detecting terahertz radiation at room temperature. A detecting pixel includes a sub-wavelength split-ring resonator, and is mechanically coupled to (but thermally decoupled from) a substrate via a cantilever formed from two materials that have a significant mismatch in their thermal expansion coefficients. Incident radiation causes the split-ring resonator to resonate, thereby generating heat that is transferred to the cantilever, causing the cantilever to flex. An optical readout system includes a secondary light source, such as a laser, that shines on a reflective surface on the pixel, whereby a photodiode detects the reflected light and permits calculation of a relative deflection of the pixel in the nanometer range. An exemplary detector has a noise equivalent power rating of approximately 60 pW/ Hz.
Filed: 10/4/2011
Application Number: 13/252,821
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.