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Time-of-flight 3-D imaging pixel structures in standard CMOS processes

: Durini, D.; Brockherde, W.; Ulfig, W.; Hosticka, B.J.


IEEE journal of solid-state circuits 43 (2008), Nr.7, S.1594-1602
ISSN: 0018-9200
Fraunhofer IMS ()
charge-coupling; charge-injection photogate; correlated-double-sampling (CDS); high-speed NIR imaging; photodiode based pixel; pixel noise; range finder; SNR; standard CMOS process; 3D imaging; time-compression amplification; time-of-flight

In this investigation we examine different pixel structures and readout principles to be used in imagers fabricated in standard CMOS processes, for example, the 0.5 mu m and 0.35 mu m processes available at the Fraunhofer IMS. The targeted applications are high-speed near-infra-red (NIR) 3-D imaging based on time-of-ftight (TOF) measurements. We discuss various issues ranging from charge-coupling possibilities to noise, spectral responsivity and fill-factor, and present an extensive study of pixel configurations based on inverse biased p-n junction and MOS-C based photodetectors. We also discuss the possibilities of using a novel CMOS imaging pixel for TOF imaging applications: the charge-injection photogate (CI-PG) which presents parametric time-compression amplification. Finally, we compare and discuss all the pixel configurations examined.