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Comparison of X-Ray and Electron Radiation Effects on Dark Current Non-Uniformity and Fluctuations in CMOS Image Sensors

Le Roch, Alexandre and Virmontois, Cedric and Paillet, Philippe and Warner, Jeffrey H. and Belloir, Jean-Marc and Magnan, Pierre and Goiffon, Vincent Comparison of X-Ray and Electron Radiation Effects on Dark Current Non-Uniformity and Fluctuations in CMOS Image Sensors. (2020) IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, 67 (1). 268-277. ISSN 0018-9499

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1109/TNS.2019.2950086


This article investigates the dark current as well as the dark current random telegraph signal (RTS) after 1-MeV electron, 3-MeV electron, and 10-keV X-ray irradiations in a pinned photodiode CMOS image sensor (CIS). A large range of deposited ionizing dose from 10 to 525 krad(SiO 2 ) is considered. The displacement damage dose deposited through electron irradiation ranges from 60 to 1200 TeV · g -1 . Results on dark current distributions highlight the predominance of the ionizing damage in opposition to the displacement damage induced by the electron irradiations. Moreover, the dark current distributions also suggest that if the ionizing dose is high enough [i.e., beyond 50 krad(SiO 2 )], the trapped positive charges in the silicon oxides create high magnitude electric field regions leading to an electric field enhancement (EFE) of the dark current which is neither present at lower doses nor in pristine image sensors. This EFE mechanism also seems to have a strong influence on the RTS leading to a clear discrepancy from the existing dark current nonuniformity model developed for amplitude distributions in CISs as well as from what is reported in the literature in the more studied ionizing dose range. Annealing treatments after electron irradiations have highlighted the existence of specific population of pixels sharing the same well-defined maximum transition amplitudes (i.e., maximum amplitude between two dark current levels). The results suggest the use of maximum transition amplitude spectroscopy applied to dark current RTS to push forward the investigation on radiation-induced defects creation and identification.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). This paper is available at : https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8886465 “© 2020 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
HAL Id:hal-03046275
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux énergies alternatives - CEA (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National d'Études Spatiales - CNES (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
Other partners > Office of Naval Research - ONR (USA)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:08 Dec 2020 11:59

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