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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020449

A Hybrid Readout Solution for GaN-Based Detectors Using CMOS Technology

1
AQUA Laboratory, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
2
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
3
AQUA Laboratory, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Padmanabhan, P.; Hancock, B.; Nikzad, S.; Bell, L.D.; Kroep, K.; Charbon, E. A CMOS Front-End for GaN-Based UV Imaging. In Proceedings of the International Image Sensor Workshop, Hiroshima, Japan, 30 May–2 June 2017.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 28 January 2018 / Published: 3 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Issue on the 2017 International Image Sensor Workshop (IISW))
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Abstract

Gallium nitride (GaN) and its alloys are becoming preferred materials for ultraviolet (UV) detectors due to their wide bandgap and tailorable out-of-band cutoff from 3.4 eV to 6.2 eV. GaN based avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are particularly suitable for their high photon sensitivity and quantum efficiency in the UV region and for their inherent insensitivity to visible wavelengths. Challenges exist however for practical utilization. With growing interests in such photodetectors, hybrid readout solutions are becoming prevalent with CMOS technology being adopted for its maturity, scalability, and reliability. In this paper, we describe our approach to combine GaN APDs with a CMOS readout circuit, comprising of a linear array of 1 × 8 capacitive transimpedance amplifiers (CTIAs), implemented in a 0.35 µm high voltage CMOS technology. Further, we present a simple, yet sustainable circuit technique to allow operation of APDs under high reverse biases, up to ≈80 V with verified measurement results. The readout offers a conversion gain of 0.43 µV/e, obtaining avalanche gains up to 103. Several parameters of the CTIA are discussed followed by a perspective on possible hybridization, exploiting the advantages of a 3D-stacked technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gallium nitride (GaN); avalanche photodiodes (APDs); UV imaging; CMOS technology; capacitive transimepdance amplifier (CTIA); hybridization; 3D integration Gallium nitride (GaN); avalanche photodiodes (APDs); UV imaging; CMOS technology; capacitive transimepdance amplifier (CTIA); hybridization; 3D integration
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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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Padmanabhan, P.; Hancock, B.; Nikzad, S.; Bell, L.D.; Kroep, K.; Charbon, E. A Hybrid Readout Solution for GaN-Based Detectors Using CMOS Technology. Sensors 2018, 18, 449.

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