I want to detect light near 10 micrometer wavelength. It seems like photodiodes are mainly targeted for 1 micrometer range. Is there any detector/sensor for 10 micrometer wavelength ?


Certainly there are microbolometers for this spectral range. They are called PIR sensor and are cheap and readily available as they are used in motion detectors. See for example this (first Google result) sensor: 5-14µm

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Andre. I did not know PIR sensors work this way. \$\endgroup\$ – mete Feb 5 '11 at 23:28

The lower ends of the Near-IR spectrum (which goes up to about 3uM) can be detected with common CMOS type circuits. These generally aren't effective past 1uM though which is why you see so many at that wavelength.

10uM is in the Mid-IR region, detecting it is not easy. Historically it required exotic materials and generally cooling of the sensor (think liquid nitrogen).

There are uncooled devices available now that work in this range called microbolometers. They are primarily built in arrays for use in thermal cameras and similar applications. I don't know of any "single cell microbolometers" out there but you may be able to find one. I doubt it would still be called a microbolometer at that point but i'm not sure what the terminology would be.

I think you'll have a hard time finding such a device off the shelf. Other than the thermal imaging applications (which will always be arrays of sensors) the only applications i know of for such wavelengths are chemical sensing / spectrometry analysis and those sensor are likely custom built, very sensitive and very expensive.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, single-element "microbolometers" are simply called "bolometers", since there is no need to miniaturize them. And they are in wide use -- almost all commercial motion sensors use these single-element bolometers and not microbolometer arrays. \$\endgroup\$ – nzh Apr 23 '14 at 13:22

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