Electromagnetic radiation detectors having a micromachined electrostatic chopper device
The present invention provides for an improved electromagnetic radiation detector having a micromachined electrostatic chopping device. The MEMS flexible film chopping device provides reliability, efficiency, noise reduction and temperature fluctuation compensation capabilities to the associated electromagnetic radiation detector. An electromagnetic radiation detector having an electrostatic chopper device comprises a detector material element, first and second electrodes in electrical contact with the detector material element and electrically isolated from one another. Additionally, the chopper device will incorporate a flexible film actuator overlying the detector material layer and moveable relative thereto. The flexible film actuator will typically include an electrode element and a biasing element such that the actuator remains in a fully curled, open state absent electrostatic voltage and moves to a fully uncurled, closed state upon the application of electrostatic voltage. Arrays that incorporate a plurality of electromagnetic radiation detectors and/or electrostatic chopping devices are additionally provided for.