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Open AccessArticle

Design and Fabrication of Vertically-Integrated CMOS Image Sensors

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2V4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2011, 11(5), 4512-4538;
Received: 4 February 2011 / Revised: 26 March 2011 / Accepted: 11 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
Technologies to fabricate integrated circuits (IC) with 3D structures are an emerging trend in IC design. They are based on vertical stacking of active components to form heterogeneous microsystems. Electronic image sensors will benefit from these technologies because they allow increased pixel-level data processing and device optimization. This paper covers general principles in the design of vertically-integrated (VI) CMOS image sensors that are fabricated by flip-chip bonding. These sensors are composed of a CMOS die and a photodetector die. As a specific example, the paper presents a VI-CMOS image sensor that was designed at the University of Alberta, and fabricated with the help of CMC Microsystems and Micralyne Inc. To realize prototypes, CMOS dies with logarithmic active pixels were prepared in a commercial process, and photodetector dies with metal-semiconductor-metal devices were prepared in a custom process using hydrogenated amorphous silicon. The paper also describes a digital camera that was developed to test the prototype. In this camera, scenes captured by the image sensor are read using an FPGA board, and sent in real time to a PC over USB for data processing and display. Experimental results show that the VI-CMOS prototype has a higher dynamic range and a lower dark limit than conventional electronic image sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: CMOS image sensors; photodetectors; logarithmic sensors; stacked ICs; flip-chip bonding CMOS image sensors; photodetectors; logarithmic sensors; stacked ICs; flip-chip bonding
MDPI and ACS Style

Skorka, O.; Joseph, D. Design and Fabrication of Vertically-Integrated CMOS Image Sensors. Sensors 2011, 11, 4512-4538.

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