CMOS Sensors for Precision Astronomy

Ivory, James (2021). CMOS Sensors for Precision Astronomy. PhD thesis The Open University.



Thanks to rapid development in recent years, CMOS sensors are quickly approaching the performance levels achieved by scientific CCDs. They are now at a point where they are being considered for precision astronomy measurements, such as gravitational microlensing. CMOS sensors offer a number of inherent advantages over CCDs, such as higher frame rate and radiation hardness. In this work, a novel monolithic CMOS sensor capable of full depletion through an applied reverse bias is characterised and tested. Baseline characterisation of basic metrics is undertaken to ensure the device is fully operational. Image lag is measured in the device to determine optimal operating parameters. A novel method for reducing image lag is described and tested, with results indicating a successful reduction. Inter-pixel non-uniformity is investigated to examine the different photo-response from pixel to pixel, as well as intra-pixel non-uniformity to determine the areas of a pixel which are more sensitive to incoming photons than others. The point spread function of the sensor is then tested at multiple reverse biases to ensure that full depletion has been achieved and compared to results taken from a CCD.

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