Method and Characterization of Pyroelectric Coefficients for Determining Material Figures of Merit for Infrared (IR) Detectors

Report No. ARL-TR-6758
Authors: Mathew Ivill; Eric Ngo; Melanie W. Cole
Date/Pages: December 2013; 20 pages
Abstract: This report describes the preliminary implementation of a characterization assembly to measure pyroelectric coefficients in order to evaluate the material figure of merit for pyroelectric infrared (IR) detector applications. The measurement uses a modified Byer-Roundy technique where pyroelectric currents are generated by periodically heating and cooling an electroded sample. Specifically, the sample temperature is modulated into a low frequency, small amplitude (a few degrees Celsius) triangular waveform while the resulting pyroelectric current is continuously monitored. The setup was designed around commercially available equipment and therefore does not necessarily require the addition of custom components. The pyroelectric currents from a thin 500 µm, single-crystal substrate of LiTaO3 have been measured near 32 °C to verify the accuracy and internal consistency of the characterization assembly. An average value of –205 ± 6 (µC/m2K) was measured for the LiTaO3 using three electrode sizes and two temperature frequencies, which is close to the literature value of –176 (µC/m2K).
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2013