The pyroelectric effect is a way to measure thermal radiation

The pyroelectric effect is one of the most efficient ways available for detecting thermal radiation or infrared radiation from the near infrared region (λ>1µm) and above.

Essentially, it is an electrical response a change in light intensity. The change in light intensity produces a change in temperature which in turn produces a potential difference across a crystal, which can be dissipated as a pyroelectric current and then amplified into a useful signal.

The pyroelectric effect occurs in ferroelectric crystals with specific non-symmetric structural properties. At Pyreos, we have a proprietary approach to the careful growth and integration of these crystals onto silicon, to ensure the highest levels of performance, reliability and durability in our sensors.

Pyreos is the worlds only thin film pyroelectric detector supplier

Pyreos is a leader in pyroelectric detectors based on silicon (a mechanically and electrically versatile material). Due to explosive growth in the optics and semiconductor industries and the advance of microelectronic and mechanical system (MEMS) technologies, the class of thin-film pyroelectric detectors have evolved to enable new products in areas as diverse as wearable sensors, hand-held spectrometers, medical gas sensors and industrial flame sensors.

Pyreos’ stronghold in this class of thin-film pyroelectric sensors is well protected by over 25 patent families (100+ patents and counting) and in over 8 territories across the globe. With its custom MEMS pyroelectric sensors, Pyreos continues to innovate and influence in the infrared detection market – just as MEMS sensors have done in other markets.

The idea of using pyroelectric materials for infrared (IR) sensing was first proposed in 1938 by Yeou Ta at the Sorbonne in Paris, while investigating tourmaline crystals.[1] From those early days, pyroelectric materials have grown into a well-established class of thermal detectors, for both the spectroscopic and non-spectroscopic detection of infrared light across diverse fields of application.

[1] Y.Ta, C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris), 1938, 207, 1042.

Pyreos pyroelectric detectors work in the Mid-infrared and can measure molecular concentrations in gases, liquids and some solids more accurately than UV/Vis infrared measurement systems

Pyreos detectors are used to measure the absorption or emission of mid-infrared light very accurately in industrial conditions.  This uses a technique called Mid infrared spectroscopy or Non-Dispersive Infra Red (NDIR).   Mid infrared spectroscopy or NDIR typically identifies quantised vibration modes of intramolecular bonds (as opposed to intermolecular forces).  It’s more discriminating than UV-Vis spectroscopy because it identifies not just what’s present but the types of chemical bonds present.  This is beneficial to uses by increasing accuracy and reducing effects of pollutants, imprities etc.  UV-VIS merely identifies elements / atoms by looking at promotion of electrons between different energy levels by absorbance of light.

Pyreos pyroelectric detectors are also used for motion detection

Pyreos thin film pyroelectric detectors accurately measure minute changes in radiation in industrial and domestic environments. This can be used to detect motion, for example to switch on a display, an alarm, or a system.

Pyreos technology delivers customer benefits because it uses thin film processes

Pyreos’ thin-film PZT pyroelectric sensor technology underpins a range of passive and active infrared sensors which can be used to analyse radiation across the entire infrared spectrum, and in particular in the mid-infrared spectrum. This is a range of spectrum which provides the best analytical data (“the fingerprint range”) and which many other sensors are unable to access substances and measure flames, presence and motion. The technology has a unique combination of benefits:

High performance thermal IR detector:

Fastest response Enables lowest power systems of any pyroelectric or thermopile sensor – suitable for IoT and mobile systems
Highest responsivity Allows smallest form factors
Withstands thermal shocks and high operating temperatures Reduces system switch on time allowing more responsiveness/lower power consumption

Lower cost, smaller infrared systems:

No moving parts/cooling required Cheaper, smaller, lower energy, more robust
Needs less calibration Lower total cost of ownership
Low costs in very high volumes Enables new applications

Semiconductor industry manufacturing:

Scalable manufacturing by world class foundries and packaging companies using standard semiconductor techniques High quality at high volume with low cost
Compatible with industry-standard high-temperature surface mount manufacturing processes Lower design and production costs
Silicon based manufacturing Unrestricted design flexibility at a low cost of customisation