Image sensors
CMOS Sensor Inc.
Fraunhofer IMS
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Fraunhofer Institute Duisburg (IMS)

In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institut Duisburg (IMS) we offer the development of customized CMOS image sensors. The IMS has experience of many years within sensor technology, micro system engineering, integrated circuit design, system and application technology, as well as CAD and testing. Hereby the IMS is the only institut for microelectronic in Germany, which covers all necessary fields for the development of customized image sensors on CMOS basis.

In Duisburg work approx. 250 scientists, engineers and technicians with plants and devices of the newest state of the art. The extensive know-how is constantly extended by own research, which constitutes 20 % of the institute budget. Developments with partners out of science and industry contributes to 25% of the IMS budget. Customized developments are made in direct research and development projects.

The Fraunhofer-IMS develops together with EURECA customized solutions for your applications! IMS is able to develop and to manufacture CMOS image sensors based on your specifications in their own semiconductor production line. As reliable partner we take care for your product from the first idea up to the specifications for the production stage. Due to the own production line the IMS is further very suitable to be your second source or foundry.

Possible forms of a cooperation are:

CMOS Image Sensors / CMOS Photo Detectors

As a new technology CMOS image sensors plays an ever more important role both for picture recording and image processing, as well as for optical measuring techniques. Applications cover different fields, e.g. multimedia, automotives, industry and building automation, robotics, environmental protection, medicine, visual check for quality control and security applications.

Sequence taken up with the HFR-256 image sensor
Sequence taken up with the HFR-256 image sensor

The research and development of CMOS image sensors at the Fraunhofer IMS concentrate on the following fields:

Innovative development of CMOS image and optical sensors
  • highest performance at low costs
  • to be produced in standard CMOS technology
  • system and application support

Research in advanced CMOS image technology

  • development of new photo detectors and selection procedures
  • development of new image sensors and image processing concepts
  • creation of bases for future image and optical measuring systems

Substantial advantages of CMOS image sensors in contrast to CCD image sensors are:

The last point means that single chip CMOS cameras with clock generation, camera control and working point adjustment, electronic shutter, interfaces and other signal processing functions are possible.

The work covers sensor, circuit and system design including algorithm and software development for image processing and optical measuring technique. A set of one and two dimensional CMOS image sensors for different applications were developed. Based on these sensors systems were developed, which can be used for different laboratory demonstrations and application experiments.

Some examples for this are:

Chip photo of the CIF image sensor Image taken with the CIF image sensor Chip photo of the HFR256 image sensor
Chip photo of the
CIF image sensor
Image taken with the
CIF image sensor
Chip photo of the
HFR256 image sensor

CMOS Linear Sensor for Spectroscopy applications

Many industrial applications require linear photosensors which exhibit high sensitivity and low noise. As an example, the optical emission spectroscopy (OES, spark or laser induced spectrometry) delivers the information about the qualitative and quantitative composition of an analyte. Since 1960, photomultiplier tubes (PMT) are used as standard detectors in the field of spark spectrometry due to their extremely high sensitivity in the ultra-violet (UV) region and the possibility of time-resolved measurements (TRM).

Sensitivity of the LDPD sensor

Since a PMT can detect only one signal at a distinct position in the spatially distributed spectrum, lots of PMTs are needed to equip a universal spectrometer. Therefore, these devices could not fully satisfy the market demands. On the other hand, widely used charge coupled device (CCD) linear sensors are able to detect the emitted visible spectrum from 400nm-1000nm simultaneously but usually require multiple integrations to pick up the information from the emission lines of interest. A CMOS approach provides a good alternative to PMTs and CCDs, as it offers both time-resolved measurement capability (TRM) and spatial resolution. A lateraldrift-field photodetector (LDPD) based CMOS linear sensor utilizes time gating accompanied by non-destructive readout and charge accumulation over several cycles. This enhances the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), hence significantly reducing measurement cycle times at increased OES measurement resolution.

The designed CMOS linear sensor is sensitive in the UV part of the spectrum and exhibits high spectral responsivity and high DR (Dynamic Range), which can be achieved also through the accumulation of the signal charge over several measurement cycles without the need of resetting the sense node. Minimum dark current enables long integration times (~10 sec.).

The LDPD (lateral drift-field photodiode) based CMOS linear sensor incorporates fast charge transfer, with reduced crosstalk by means of technological improvements through extensive LDPD-device simulation and optimization. Non-destructive readout together with the possibility to perform time-resolved measurements makes the developed CMOS linear sensor the ideal detector for spark atomic emission spectroscopy, providing a substitute for hybrid detectors in general.

Summary of 368 x 1 pixels CMOS linear sensor characteristics

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

Page updated at: 08/20/2013