We present thermal detectors based on 40?nm-thick strain tuned single crystalline silicon membranes shaped into a heater area supported by narrow n- and p-doped beams, which also operate as a thermocouple. The electro-thermal characterization of the devices reveals a noise equivalent power of 13 pW/Hz1/2 and a thermal time constant of 2.5?ms. The high sensitivity of the devices is due to the high Seebeck coefficient of 0.39?mV/K and reduction of thermal conductivity of the Si beams from the bulk value. The performance enables fast and sensitive detection of low levels of thermal power and infrared radiation at room temperature. The devices operate in the Johnson-Nyquist noise limit of the thermocouple, and the performance improvement towards the operation close to the temperature fluctuation limit is discussed.
- thermal noise
- thermoelectric devices