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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 43, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 1953
  • pp: 15–19

Properties of Thermistor Infrared Detectors

ERIC M. WORMSER  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 43, Issue 1, pp. 15-19 (1953)

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Thermistor bolometers are fast, sensitive infrared detectors with good responsivity from 1 to 15 microns. The detectors consist of a thin flake of thermistor material mounted on a thermal sink. The time constant of the detectors is determined by the type of thermal sink on which the flakes are mounted. By cementing thermistor flakes to quartz or glass thermal sinks, detectors with time constants ranging from 3 to 5 and 5 to 8 milliseconds, respectively, are obtained.

Experimental results are given for quartz- and glass-backed thermistor detectors having sizes of sensitive areas ranging from 0.2 to 12.5 square millimeters. Performance criteria for these detectors are tabulated and plotted as a function of size of sensitive area. Typical frequency response and relative spectral responsivity data are given.

Detector flakes have to be mounted in sealed housings for noise-free operation. Two types of housings are described.

ERIC M. WORMSER, "Properties of Thermistor Infrared Detectors," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 43, 15-19 (1953)

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  1. W. H. Brattain and J. A. Becker, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 354 (1946).
  2. J. A. Becker et al., OSRD 5991, Final Report on Development and Operating Characteristics of Thermistor Bolometers.
  3. R. C. Jones, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 448 (1946).
  4. This reference band width is that used by R. C. Jones [J. Opt. Soc. Am. 39, 327356 (1949)]; however, the value of ENI defined in this paper differs from that used by Jones, since responsivity at 15 cps (S15) is used instead of computing zero frequency responsivity S0. Jones' zero frequency responsivity, which is equivalent to Bell Telephone Laboratories' first time-constant, steady-state responsivity, is arrived at by substituting a single time-constant curve which is in contact with the experimental curve at the point where the slope is 3 db. In order to arrive accurately at S0 from the tabulated responsivity S15 an experimental frequency response curve has to be taken for each detector unit, since τ2 and τ3 vary from unit to unit. Complete frequency response data are available only for a small number of the units tabulated. From these data we can approximately relate S0 and S15, in general. From the foregoing data we find for quartz-backed units S0 ranges from 1.0 to 1.25 times S15.
  5. Research and Development Board, Natl. Bur. Standards, Symposium on Infrared Instrumentation, Houston, Texas, September 13–15, 1951.
  6. R. J. Havens, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 355 (1946).

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