Electro-Thermo-Mechanical Physics for Actuators and Bolometers

Solving the Complex Numerical Challenges of Simulating Microbolometers

CoventorWare provides a fully coupled Electro-Thermo-Mechanical solver, employing finite elements which efficiently model the multi-material, composite thin films used in this application.

Multiple Coupled Physical Domains

Simulating the complete operation of a MEMS microbolometer requires analyzing multiple coupled physical domains, including thermal, mechanical, and electrical behavioral domains.

Microfabricated Composite Assemblies

MEMS microbolometers are typically comprised of multiple materials with vastly different material properties. The material properties range from electrical conductors to dielectrics, thermal insulators to heat conductors, and materials with disparate coefficients of thermal expansion and advanced residual stress profiles.

High Aspect Ratio Structures

Laminated thin films are attached by intentionally delicate suspensions to multi-material, conformally deposited anchors.

Multiple Simulation Domains

Steady-state, frequency and time domain simulations are all required to accurately characterize microbolometers.

CoventorWare for Electro-Thermo-Mechanical Analysis

Coupling CoventorWare’s layout- and process-driven methodology with its versatile solver addresses all of the requirements for microbolometer design, enabling rapid design exploration in a single, unified environment. Fundamental design characteristics simulated in CoventorWare including thermal conductance G, time constant τ, total heat capacity C, electrical resistance R, voltage-temperature relationship V-T, current-voltage (I-V) curves, as well as the operational time response of the complete sensor to the application of incident radiation.

2D plot showing the time evolution of a microbolometer’s maximum temperature when exposed to incident radiation, including electronic pulse perturbation

2D plot showing the time evolution of a microbolometer’s maximum temperature when exposed to incident radiation, including electronic pulse perturbation

3D contour plot animation illustrates the distribution of temperature across the device as a function of time

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