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Vertically-Integrated CMOS Technology for Third-Generation Image Sensors Open Access


Other title
vertically-integrated ICs
electronic imaging
image sensors
digital cameras
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Skorka, Orit
Supervisor and department
Dr. Dileepan Joseph (Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Vincent Gaudet (Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo)
Dr. Mike Brett (Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta)
Dr. Marek Syrzycki (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Simon Fraser University))
Dr. Walied Moussa (Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Over the past four decades, CCDs and CMOS active-pixel sensors have defined the first and second generations of electronic image sensors, respectively. They are the core components of digital still and video cameras. However, despite significant progress, visible-band digital cameras do not rival the human eye entirely. For example, most CCD and CMOS image sensors suffer from low image quality in dim scenes and low dynamic range relative to human perception. To realize a third-generation of image sensors with superior capabilities, vertical integration is a promising approach. A process flow to support research of this nature in Canada was developed with CMC Microsystems. Using the flow, a vertically-integrated (VI) CMOS image sensor with competitive dark limit and dynamic range was presented. Silicon CMOS dies and hydrogenated amorphous silicon photodetector dies are first designed and fabricated separately, and are then assembled with solder bumps by flip-chip bonding. The CMOS circuits include an electronic feedback that maintains a constant potential across each photodetector, which means the light-sensitive film need not be patterned. Methods to ensure stability of the feedback loop are presented. Using semiconductor physics for a simplified photodetector structure, a mathematical model that employs intuitive boundary conditions is proposed. Analytical and numerical solutions are used to explain and calculate the optimal thickness of the light sensitive film. In this fashion, efforts to establish a third generation of image sensors through VI-CMOS technology are advanced.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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