A research team led by Masafumi Kimata, professor at Ritsumeikan University, developed an uncooled infrared sensor based on plasmonics in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric Corp.
The sensor uses a "plasmonic absorber," which is made by periodically arranging circular and oval pores on the surface of a gold (Au) film. It is expected to be used for a wide range of applications such as fire detection, alcohol detection (in a vehicle) and human presence sensor systems.
The new sensor can detect an infrared light with a certain wavelength and polarization of infrared light without a wavelength selection filter or polarizing filter. It is possible to realize those functions by changing the shape (ratio of longitudinal diameter to transverse diameter) of the pores on the surface of the Au film and the period of the arrangement.
Because there is no need for a wavelength selection filter or polarizing filter, it becomes possible to lower the cost of a detection system, the research team said.