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Proceedings Paper

Image sensing with maximum sensitivity using industrial CMOS technology
Author(s): Peter Seitz
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Paper Abstract

Today's semiconductor industry is based on silicon as a semiconductor with excellent mechanical, chemical and electrical properties. Additionally, silicon is very effective in converting photons in the wavelength range of 0.1 - 1150 nm into charge carrier pairs. While this photoconversion process occurs essentially noise-free, the electronic detection of the collected photocharge is effectively responsible for the photodetection noise. The limiting physical effect is Johnson (resistor) noise in the channel of the first detection transistor, which depends on the input capacitance, the temperature and the detection bandwidth. This relationship can be exploited in several ways for the realization of image sensors in CCD and CMOS technology that exhibit sub-electron detection noise, reaching the ultimate physical limit of single-photon detection. Additionally, a physical effect can be employed for the amplification of charge signals before the actual electronic detection process: avalanche multiplication. Many of the described low-noise image sensors can be implemented in standard CCD or CMOS fabrication processes, opening up exciting prospects for affordable optical microsystems performing at the physical photodetection limits.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3099, Micro-optical Technologies for Measurement, Sensors, and Microsystems II and Optical Fiber Sensor Technologies and Applications, (24 September 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.281222
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Seitz, Paul Scherrer Institute Zuerich (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3099:
Micro-optical Technologies for Measurement, Sensors, and Microsystems II and Optical Fiber Sensor Technologies and Applications
Olivier M. Parriaux; Ernst-Bernhard Kley; Brian Culshaw; Magnus Breidne, Editor(s)

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