Optical Components, Detectors, and Displays

Dynamic range and sensitivity improvement in near-infrared detectors using silicon germanium bipolar complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology

[+] Author Affiliations
Johan Venter

University of Pretoria, Carl and Emily Fuchs Institute for Microelectronics, Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Pretoria, South Africa

Saurabh Sinha

University of Pretoria, Carl and Emily Fuchs Institute for Microelectronics, Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Pretoria, South Africa

Opt. Eng. 52(4), 044001 (Apr 03, 2013). doi:10.1117/1.OE.52.4.044001
History: Received December 30, 2012; Revised March 5, 2013; Accepted March 11, 2013
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Abstract.  Classically gated infrared (IR) detectors have been implemented using charge-coupled devices (CCD). Bipolar complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (BiCMOS) technology emerged as a viable alternative platform for development. BiCMOS technology has a number of advantages over CCD and conventional CMOS technology, of which increased switching speed is one. The pixel topology used in this work is a reversed-biased diode connected heterojunction bipolar transistor. The disadvantage of CMOS detectors is the increased readout noise due to the increased on-chip switching compared to CCD, which degrades dynamic range (DR) and sensitivity. This yields increased switching speeds compared to conventional bipolar junction transistors. Sensitivity improved from 50mA/W (peak) at 430 nm in CCD detectors to 180mA/W (peak) (or 180,000V/W) at 665 nm in BiCMOS detectors. Other CMOS IR detectors previously published in the literature showed sensitivity values from 2750 to 5000V/W or 100mA/W. The DR also improved from 47 and 53 dB to 70 dB. The sensitivity of conventional CCD detectors previously published is around 53mA/W. The second advantage is that detection in the near-IR band with conventional silicon integrated technology is possible. This work has shown increased detection capabilities up to 1.1 μm compared to Si detectors.

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© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Johan Venter and Saurabh Sinha
"Dynamic range and sensitivity improvement in near-infrared detectors using silicon germanium bipolar complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology", Opt. Eng. 52(4), 044001 (Apr 03, 2013). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.52.4.044001


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