Design and Characterization of a Current Assisted Photo Mixing Demodulator for Tof Based 3d Cmos Image Sensor

Hossain, Quazi Delwar (2010) Design and Characterization of a Current Assisted Photo Mixing Demodulator for Tof Based 3d Cmos Image Sensor. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

PDF - Doctoral Thesis


Due to the increasing demand for 3D vision systems, many efforts have been recently concentrated to achieve complete 3D information analogous to human eyes. Scannerless optical range imaging systems are emerging as an interesting alternative to conventional intensity imaging in a variety of applications, including pedestrian security, biomedical appliances, robotics and industrial control etc. For this, several studies have reported to produce 3D images including stereovision, object distance from vision system and structured light source with high frame rate, accuracy, wide dynamic range, low power consumption and lower cost. Several types of optical techniques for 3D imaging range measurement are available in the literature, among them one of the most important is time-of-flight (TOF) principle that is intensively investigated. The third dimension, i.e. depth information, can be determined by correlating the reflected modulated light signal from the scene with a reference signal synchronous with the light source modulation signal. CMOS image sensors are capable of integrating the image processing circuitry on the same chip as the light sensitive elements. As compared to other imaging technologies, they have the advantages of lower power consumption and potentially lower price. The merits make this technology competent for the next-generation solid-state imaging applications. However, CMOS process technologies are developed for high-performance digital circuits. Different types of 3D photodetectors have been proposed for three-dimensional imaging. A major performance improvement has been found in the adoption of inherently mixing detectors that incorporate the role of detection and demodulation in a single device. Basically, these devices use a modulated electric field to guide the photo generated charge carriers to different collection sites in phase with a modulation signal. One very promising CMOS photonic demodulator based on substrate current modulation has recently been proposed. In this device the electric field penetrates deeper into the substrate, thus enhancing the charge separation and collection mechanism. A very good sensitivity and high demodulation efficiency can be achieved. The objective of this thesis has been the design and characterization of a Current Assisted Photo mixing Demodulator (CAPD) to be applied in a TOF based 3D CMOS sensing system. At first, the experimental investigation of the CAPD device is carried out. As a test vehicle, 10×10 pixel arrays have been fabricated in 0.18µm CMOS technology with 10×10 µm2 pixel size. The main properties of CAPD devices, such as the charge transfer characteristic, modulation contrast, noise performance and non-linearity problem, etc. have been simulated and experimentally evaluated. Experimental results demonstrate a good DC charge separation efficiency and good dynamic demodulation capabilities up to 45MHz. The influence of performance parameters such as wavelength, modulation frequency and voltage on this device is also discussed. This test device corresponds to the first step towards incorporating a high resolution TOF based 3D CMOS image sensor. The demodulator structure featuring a remarkably small pixel size 10 × 10 µm2 is used to realize a 120 × 160 pixel array of ranging sensor fabricated in standard 0.18µm CMOS technology. Initial results demonstrate that the demodulator structure is suitable for a real-time 3D image sensor. The prototype camera system is capable of providing real-time distance measurements of a scene through modulated-wave TOF measurements with a modulation frequency 20 MHz. In the distance measurement, the sensor array provides a linear distance range from 1.2m to 3.7m with maximum accuracy error 3.3% and maximum pixel noise 8.5% at 3.7m distance. Extensive testing of the device and prototype camera system has been carried out to gain insight into the characteristics of this device, which is a good candidate for integration in large arrays for time-of-flight based 3D CMOS image sensor in the near future.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Information and Communication Technology
PhD Cycle:23 rd
Subjects:Area 01 - Scienze matematiche e informatiche > INF/01 INFORMATICA
Repository Staff approval on:22 Feb 2011 13:52

Repository Staff Only: item control page