Single event effects in 0.18 μm CMOS image sensors

Rushton, Joseph E.; Stefanov, Konstantin D.; Holland, Andrew D.; Bugnet, Henri; Mayer, Frederic; Cordrey-Gale, Matthew and Endicott, James (2016). Single event effects in 0.18 μm CMOS image sensors. In: High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VII, SPIE Proceedings, SPIE Digital Library, article no. 99152Q.




CMOS image sensors are widely used on Earth and are becoming increasingly favourable for use in space. Advantages, such as low power consumption, and ever-improving imaging peformance make CMOS an attractive option. The ability to integrate camera functions on-chip, such as biasing and sequencing, simplifies designing with CMOS sensors and can improve system reliablity. One potential disadvantage to the use of CMOS is the possibility of single event effects, such as single event latchup (SEL), which can cause malfunctions or even permanent destruction of the sensor. These single event effects occur in the space environment due to the high levels of radiation incident on the sensor. This work investigates the ocurrence of SEL in CMOS image sensors subjected to heavy-ion irradiation. Three devices are investigated, two of which have triple-well doping implants. The resulting latchup cross-sections are presented. It is shown that using a deep p well on 18 μm epitaxial silicon increases the radiation hardness of the sensor against latchup. The linear energy transfer (LET) threshold for latchup is increased when using this configuration. Our findings suggest deep p wells can be used to increase the radiation tollerance of CMOS image sensors for use in future space missions.

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