Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs


Emil Kadlec

Publication Date



Thermal detection has made extensive progress in the last 40 years, however, the speed and detectivity remain insufficient for certain applications. The advancement of microphotonic resonators has brought interest of their use as detection devices due to their small size and high quality factors. Implementing silicon photonic microring resonators as a means of a thermal detector gives rise to higher speed and detectivity, as well as lower noise. Thermal detection in the far wave infrared region (Terahertz) remains underdeveloped, opening a door for new innovative technologies such as metamaterials. This thesis will present the design and measurements of silicon photonic microring resonators used for thermal detection. The characteristic values, consisting of the thermal time constant ( \u2248 2 ) and noise equivalent power (NEP \u2248 10-12 ), were measured and found to surpass the performance of the best microbolometers. Furthermore the detectivity was found to be = 1.8 x 108 ; this is comparable to commercial detectors. Subsequent design modifications should increase the detectivity by another order of magnitude. Also shown is the use of metamaterials in conjunction with a bimorph cantilever design for detection in the far wave infrared region. While much work remains to institute these technologies into a deployable product, the early stages of research show potential for use in thermal detection and other applications.


Infrared detectors, Temperature measuring instruments, Metamaterials.


Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed-Martin Company, for the U. S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000.

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Shaner, Eric

Second Committee Member

Hossein-Zadeh, Mani