15 September 2009 Delta-doped back-illuminated CMOS imaging arrays: progress and prospects
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Abstract
In this paper, we report the latest results on our development of delta-doped, thinned, back-illuminated CMOS imaging arrays. As with charge-coupled devices, thinning and back-illumination are essential to the development of high performance CMOS imaging arrays. Problems with back surface passivation have emerged as critical to the prospects for incorporating CMOS imaging arrays into high performance scientific instruments, just as they did for CCDs over twenty years ago. In the early 1990's, JPL developed delta-doped CCDs, in which low temperature molecular beam epitaxy was used to form an ideal passivation layer on the silicon back surface. Comprising only a few nanometers of highly-doped epitaxial silicon, delta-doping achieves the stability and uniformity that are essential for high performance imaging and spectroscopy. Delta-doped CCDs were shown to have high, stable, and uniform quantum efficiency across the entire spectral range from the extreme ultraviolet through the near infrared. JPL has recently bump-bonded thinned, delta-doped CMOS imaging arrays to a CMOS readout, and demonstrated imaging. Delta-doped CMOS devices exhibit the high quantum efficiency that has become the standard for scientific-grade CCDs. Together with new circuit designs for low-noise readout currently under development, delta-doping expands the potential scientific applications of CMOS imaging arrays, and brings within reach important new capabilities, such as fast, high-sensitivity imaging with parallel readout and real-time signal processing. It remains to demonstrate manufacturability of delta-doped CMOS imaging arrays. To that end, JPL has acquired a new silicon MBE and ancillary equipment for delta-doping wafers up to 200mm in diameter, and is now developing processes for high-throughput, high yield delta-doping of fully-processed wafers with CCD and CMOS imaging devices.
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Michael E. Hoenk, Todd J. Jones, Matthew R. Dickie, Frank Greer, Thomas J. Cunningham, Edward R. Blazejewski, Shouleh Nikzad, "Delta-doped back-illuminated CMOS imaging arrays: progress and prospects", Proc. SPIE 7419, Infrared Systems and Photoelectronic Technology IV, 74190T (15 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.832326; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.832326
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