Infrared Detector Arrays using Metamaterial Absorbers


Aim of the project

BlueAbsorber w400
 Fig.1 Thermoelectric sensor array

This project aims to improve the selectivity and sensitivity of infrared detector arrays using Metamaterial Absorbers (PMA’s).


Project description

Fabrication of low-cost infrared detector arrays is still a great challenge. Figure 1 shows a detector for a gas sensing spectrometer that we have fabricated. The infrared radiation is converted into heat in the absorber (blue regions). The material used here shows a low efficiency and a very wide spectral response. But for a spectrometer the detector needs to be selective for a certain wavelength and needs to collect as much infrared radiation as possible.

The recent progress in the fabrication of nano-scale structures by E-beam lithography can result in very promising devices. Sub-wavelength resonant antenna structures, such as in Fig.2, are now feasible and can be fabricated using planar IC compatible techniques. These structures need to be designed and optimized for a near unity absorption and a peak sensitivity at certain wavelength in the mid-infrared.


Main challenges: 

Fig.2 Nanoscale metal patterns.
  • A short study on Metamaterial Absorbers
  • Design of an array of PMA’s for the infrared range from 3-5 µm using IC compatible materials.
  • Optimisation of the design, using COMSOL or Microwave Studio
  • Design of the mask for fabrication
  • Testing of the final devices.


We offer an interesting, innovative project for a motivated MSc student interested in sensors, RF simulations  and optics.



Ger de Graaf