17 October 2007 Dynamic range optimisation of CMOS image sensors dedicated to space applications
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Nowadays, CMOS image sensors are widely considered for space applications. Their performances have been significantly enhanced with the use of CIS (CMOS Image Sensor) processes in term of dark current, quantum efficiency and conversion gain. Dynamic Range (DR) remains an important parameter for a lot of applications. Most of the dynamic range limitation of CMOS image sensors comes from the pixel. During work performed in collaboration with EADS Astrium, SUPAERO/CIMI laboratory has studied different ways to improve dynamic range and test structures have been developed to perform analysis and characterisation. A first way to improve dynamic range will be described, consisting in improving the voltage swing at the pixel output. Test vehicles and process modifications made to improve voltage swing will be depicted. We have demonstrated a voltage swing improvement more than 30%. A second way to improve dynamic range is to reduce readout noise A new readout architecture has been developed to perform a correlated double sampling readout. Strong readout noise reduction will be demonstrated by measurements performed on our test vehicle. A third way to improve dynamic range is to control conversion gain value. Indeed, in 3 TMOS pixel structure, dynamic range is related to conversion gain through reset noise which is dependant of photodiode capacitance. Decrease and increase of conversion gain have been performed with different design techniques. A good control of the conversion gain will be demonstrated with variation in the range of 0.05 to 3 of initial conversion gain.
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P. Martin-Gonthier, P. Martin-Gonthier, P. Magnan, P. Magnan, F. Corbiere, F. Corbiere, Magali Estribeau, Magali Estribeau, Nicolas Huger, Nicolas Huger, Luc Boucher, Luc Boucher, "Dynamic range optimisation of CMOS image sensors dedicated to space applications", Proc. SPIE 6744, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XI, 67440U (17 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.747548; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.747548

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