A monolithic infrared detector structure which allows integration of pyroelectric thin films atop low thermal conductivity aerogel thin films. The structure comprises, from bottom to top, a substrate, an aerogel insulating layer, a lower electrode, a pyroelectric layer, and an upper electrode layer capped by a blacking layer. The aerogel can offer thermal conductivity less than that of air, while providing a much stronger monolithic alternative to cantilevered or suspended air-gap structures for pyroelectric thin film pixel arrays. Pb(Zr.sub.0.4 Ti.sub.0.6)O.sub.3 thin films deposited on these structures displayed viable pyroelectric properties, while processed at 550.degree. C.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.