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Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1774; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081774

Parametric Optimization of Lateral NIPIN Phototransistors for Flexible Image Sensors

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 123, Chemdangwagi-ro, Buk-gu, 61005 Gwangju, Korea
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 29 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible Electronics and Sensors)
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Abstract

Curved image sensors, which are a key component in bio-inspired imaging systems, have been widely studied because they can improve an imaging system in various aspects such as low optical aberrations, small-form, and simple optics configuration. Many methods and materials to realize a curvilinear imager have been proposed to address the drawbacks of conventional imaging/optical systems. However, there have been few theoretical studies in terms of electronics on the use of a lateral photodetector as a flexible image sensor. In this paper, we demonstrate the applicability of a Si-based lateral phototransistor as the pixel of a high-efficiency curved photodetector by conducting various electrical simulations with technology computer aided design (TCAD). The single phototransistor is analyzed with different device parameters: the thickness of the active cell, doping concentration, and structure geometry. This work presents a method to improve the external quantum efficiency (EQE), linear dynamic range (LDR), and mechanical stability of the phototransistor. We also evaluated the dark current in a matrix form of phototransistors to estimate the feasibility of the device as a flexible image sensor. Moreover, we fabricated and demonstrated an array of phototransistors based on our study. The theoretical study and design guidelines of a lateral phototransistor create new opportunities in flexible image sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: lateral phototransistor; bio-inspired image sensor; curved photodetector array; flexible/stretchable electronics lateral phototransistor; bio-inspired image sensor; curved photodetector array; flexible/stretchable electronics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Kim, M.S.; Lee, G.J.; Kim, H.M.; Song, Y.M. Parametric Optimization of Lateral NIPIN Phototransistors for Flexible Image Sensors. Sensors 2017, 17, 1774.

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