Fully depleted and backside biased monolithic CMOS image sensor

Stefanov, Konstantin D.; Clarke, Andrew S. and Holland, Andrew D. (2016). Fully depleted and backside biased monolithic CMOS image sensor. In: High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VII (Holland, Andrew D. and Beletic, James eds.), p. 991513.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2232413


We are presenting a novel concept for a fully depleted, monolithic, pinned photodiode CMOS image sensor using reverse substrate bias. The principle of operation allows the manufacture of backside illuminated CMOS sensors with active thickness in excess of 100 µm. This helps increase the QE at near-IR and soft X-ray wavelengths, while preserving the excellent characteristics associated with the pinned photodiode sensitive elements. Such sensors are relevant to a wide range of applications, including scientific imaging, astronomy, Earth observation and surveillance.
A prototype device with 10 µm and 5.4 µm pixels using this concept has been designed and is being manufactured on a 0.18 µm CMOS image sensor process. Only one additional implantation step has been introduced to the normal manufacturing flow to make this device. The paper discusses the design of the sensor and the challenges that had to be overcome to realise it in practice, and in particular the method of achieving full depletion without parasitic substrate currents. It is expected that this new technology can be competitive with modern backside illuminated thick CCDs for use at visible to near-IR telescopes and synchrotron light sources.

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