Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Abstract-Selective Pyroelectric Detection of Millimetre Waves Using Ultra-Thin Metasurface Absorbers


Sensing infrared radiation is done inexpensively with pyroelectric detectors that generate a temporary voltage when they are heated by the incident infrared radiation. Unfortunately the performance of these detectors deteriorates for longer wavelengths, leaving the detection of, for instance, millimetre-wave radiation to expensive approaches. We propose here a simple and effective method to enhance pyroelectric detection of the millimetre-wave radiation by combining a compact commercial infrared pyro-sensor with a metasurface-enabled ultra-thin absorber, which provides spectrally- and polarization-discriminated response and is 136 times thinner than the operating wavelength. It is demonstrated that, due to the small thickness and therefore the thermal capacity of the absorber, the detector keeps the high response speed and sensitivity to millimetre waves as the original infrared pyro-sensor does against the regime of infrared detection. An in-depth electromagnetic analysis of the ultra-thin resonant absorbers along with their complex characterization by a BWO-spectroscopy technique is presented. Built upon this initial study, integrated metasurface absorber pyroelectric sensors are implemented and tested experimentally, showing high sensitivity and very fast response to millimetre-wave radiation. The proposed approach paves the way for creating highly-efficient inexpensive compact sensors for spectro-polarimetric applications in the millimetre-wave and terahertz bands.

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