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Light-In-Flight Imaging by a Silicon Image Sensor: Toward the Theoretical Highest Frame Rate

School of Science and Engineering, Kindai University, 3-4-1 Kowakae, Higahsi-Osaka, Osaka 577-8502, Japan
School of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Noji-Higashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan
School of Engineering, Osaka University, 1-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, International University, Vietnam National University HCMC, Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam
School of Electronics and Telecommunications, Hanoi University of Science and technology, 1 Dai Co Viet, Bach Khoa, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi 100803, Vietnam
Advanced Quantum Architecture Laboratory, EPFL, Rue de la Maladiere 71b, CH-2002 Neuchatel 2, Switzerland
Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 4, Delft, 2628 CD, The Netherlands
IMEC, Kapeldreef 75, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(10), 2247;
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced CMOS Image Sensors and Emerging Applications)
PDF [3758 KB, uploaded 22 May 2019]


Light in flight was captured by a single shot of a newly developed backside-illuminated multi-collection-gate image sensor at a frame interval of 10 ns without high-speed gating devices such as a streak camera or post data processes. This paper reports the achievement and further evolution of the image sensor toward the theoretical temporal resolution limit of 11.1 ps derived by the authors. The theoretical analysis revealed the conditions to minimize the temporal resolution. Simulations show that the image sensor designed following the specified conditions and fabricated by existing technology will achieve a frame interval of 50 ps. The sensor, 200 times faster than our latest sensor will innovate advanced analytical apparatuses using time-of-flight or lifetime measurements, such as imaging TOF-MS, FLIM, pulse neutron tomography, PET, LIDAR, and more, beyond these known applications.
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Keywords: light-in-flight; theoretical temporal resolution limit; ultra-high-speed image sensor light-in-flight; theoretical temporal resolution limit; ultra-high-speed image sensor

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Etoh, T.G.; Okinaka, T.; Takano, Y.; Takehara, K.; Nakano, H.; Shimonomura, K.; Ando, T.; Ngo, N.; Kamakura, Y.; Dao, V.T.S.; Nguyen, A.Q.; Charbon, E.; Zhang, C.; De Moor, P.; Goetschalckx, P.; Haspeslagh, L. Light-In-Flight Imaging by a Silicon Image Sensor: Toward the Theoretical Highest Frame Rate. Sensors 2019, 19, 2247.

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