M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentSlavenko Michael
SubjectStudy of Uncooled CMOS-SOI-NEMS THz Thermal
DepartmentDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Supervisor PROFESSOR EMERITUS Yael Nemirovsky


THz (Tera-Hertz) frequency radiation has been the subject of much interest and research in recent years. The THz spectrum has important uses in spectroscopy of molecular structures and its penetrative qualities are useful for security applications, such as stand-off detection of concealed weapons or hazardous materials, medical imaging, non-destructive testing in manufacturing, etc.

Passive uncooled thermal imaging in THz is an attractive goal, since it requires neither cryogenic cooling, which adds bulk and large costs to the detector, nor active illumination, which requires investment in, still expensive and rare, THz radiation sources. However, the low black-body emission in the THz spectrum, on which the passive imaging approach relies, demands seeking innovative methods for designing affordable, high sensitivity detectors.

This work is part of an ongoing research into a class of CMOS-SOI-NEMS detectors for THz and IR (Infra-Red) radiation, focusing on affordable passive thermal detectors, which are fabricated using standard CMOS-SOI processes and subsequently  NEMS post processing, which may be performed at wafer level. The detection mechanism is based on resonant absorber structures,  which respond strongly to THz wavelength radiation, while remaining capable of quick thermal response in order to allow video-rate operation.

Following the design, simulation, fabrication and measurements of new detector pixels, this work details and expands the theoretical background of passive thermal sensing, presents refined simulation and measurement methodologies and reports on the achieved performance figures of merit.