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Fraunhofer Institute Duisburg (IMS)

In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute Duisburg (IMS), Eureca offers the development of customer-specific CMOS sensors.

The IMS has many years of experience in the areas of components and technology, sensor technology and microsystems engineering, integrated circuit design, system and application technology, as well as CAD and tests. Hereby, the IMS is the only microelectronics institute in Germany covering all required areas of the development of customer-specific image sensors based on CMOS.

In Duisburg, about 250 scientists, engineers and technicians work with state-of-the-art systems and equipment. The extensive know-how is constantly being extended through own research with basic funding, which accounts for 20% of the institute's budget. Public joint project funding with partners from science and industry contributes 25% to the IMS budget. Customer-specific developments take place in direct research and development contracts for remuneration.

The IMS develops tailor-made solutions for your applications together with you and Eureca! The IMS is able to develop products to their specifications and manufacture them in their own semiconductor manufacturing line in CMOS technology. As a reliable partner, IMS looks after your product idea from specification through to series production. Due to the plant park in the existing clean rooms, it is ideally suited to be your second source or foundry.

Possible forms of cooperation are:

  • Concept and feasibility studies
  • Development of demonstrators and prototypes of CMOS image sensors
  • Production of CMOS image sensors in pre, small and medium series
  • Error analyzes, simulations, consultations

CMOS Image Sensors / CMOS Photo Detectors

Sequence taken with the HFR-256 image sensor.

As a new technology approach, CMOS image sensor technology is playing an increasingly important role in image acquisition and image processing as well as in optical metrology. The applications cover various fields, such as Multimedia, automotive, industrial and building automation, robotics, environmental protection, medicine, visual inspection for quality control and security applications.

The research and development in CMOS image sensor technology at the Fraunhofer IMS focuses on the following areas:

Innovative development of image and optical sensors based on CMOS

  • highest performance at low cost
  • Finished in standard CMOS technology
  • System and application support

Research in advanced CMOS image sensor technology

  • Development of novel photodetectors and readout methods
  • Development of new image sensors and image processing concepts
  • Creation of fundamentals of future image and optical measuring systems

Significant advantages of CMOS image sensors over CCD image sensors

  • Freely selectable pixel access;
  • high optical brightness dynamics;
  • large temperature range;
  • low power consumption;
  • only one supply voltage;
  • no »blooming«, »smearing« or »time lag«;
  • Possibility of on-chip electronic integration.

The last point means that single-chip CMOS cameras can be realized with clock generation, camera control and operating point adjustment, electronic shutter, interfaces and other signal processing functions.

The work includes sensor, circuit and system design including algorithms and software development for image processing and optical metrology. A number of one and two dimensional CMOS image sensors have been developed for various applications. Based on these sensors, systems have been designed that are used for various laboratory demonstrations and application experiments.

Some examples
  • High speed CMOS image sensor HFR 256 (> 1,000 fps)
  • Low power CIF CMOS image sensor (<35mW)
  • High resolution CMOS image sensor (1Mpixel) and ROI selection with object tracking
  • 2D CMOS optical motion alarm units with NIR illumination (Near Infrared)
  • 3D CMOS image sensor based on time of flight measurement (time of flight principle)
  • CMOS linear sensor with high resolution and high readout speed
  • blue-sensitive CMOS »pick-up« unit for future DVD blue lasers
  • CMOS detector matrix for X-ray based CT
  • CMOS image sensor with 120dB brightness dynamics for automotive applications

Chip photo of the CIF image sensor.

Recording with the CIF image sensor.

Chip photo of the HFR256 image sensor.

Many industrial applications require linear image sensors with high sensitivity and low noise. As an example, glow discharge spectroscopy (spectroscopy induced by sparks or lasers) provides information about the qualitative and quantitative nature of a material to be analyzed. Because of their extremely high sensitivity in the ultra-violet (UV) range and the ability to perform time-resolved measurements, photomultipliers have been used since 1960 as standard detectors in the field of spark spectroscopy.

Since photomultipliers can only detect one signal at an individual position in the spatially distributed spectrum, many photomultipliers are needed for a universal spectrometer. As a result, these devices could not adequately satisfy the needs of the market. In contrast, the widely used CCD linear sensors can detect the emitted visible spectrum of 400nm-1000nm at the same time, but usually require multiple integrations to represent the observed emission line. CMOS-based sensors are a good alternative to photomultipliers and CCDs because they offer both time-resolved measurements and spatial resolution. A CMOS linear sensor based on an LDPD (lateral drift-field photodetector) uses short exposure times (gating), interference-free readout and charge accumulation over several cycles. This enhances the signal-to-noise ratio and thus reduces the measurement cycle with increased OES measurement resolution.

The developed CMOS linear sensor is sensitive in the UV range of the spectrum and has a high spectral sensitivity and high DR (dynamic range), which can also be achieved by accumulation of the signal charge over several measurement cycles. Minimum dark current allows a long integration time (~ 10 sec.).

The LDPD-based CMOS linear sensor provides fast charge transfer with reduced crosstalk, resulting in improved technology due to comprehensive LDPD simulation and optimization.

Non-destructive readout, along with the possibility of time-resolved measurements, makes the developed CMOS linear sensor the ideal detector for spark-emission spectroscopy, providing a replacement for hybrid detectors in general.

  • Sensitive area 3680μm*200μm
  • Pixel pitch 10μm
  • Conversion gain 17μV/e
  • Sensitivity @525nm 530V/(μJ/cm2)
  • Quantum efficiency @525nm 60%
  • Linearity 0.5%
  • Saturation capacity 59ke
  • Sense node capacity 7.50fF
  • Signal-to-noise ratio 46dB
  • Dynamic range 52dB
  • DSNU1288 7.5mV
  • PRNU1288 1.6%
  • Electrical crosstalk effect <4%
  • Dark signal (@T=22°C) 75mV/s
  • Process 0.35μm 2P4M CMOS + LDPD
  • UV-Transparent Passivation

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Last update: 2019-11-02