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Tailor-making time-resolving and high-sensitivity CMOS image sensors

Keiichiro Kagawa

At Imaging Devices Laboratory (Shizuoka University, Japan), high-performance CMOS image sensor technologies aiming at ps-order time-resolved imaging and photon-counting imaging are being developed. Recent progress covers ultra-low-noise pixel (noise level of 0.27 electrons)[1], ultra-fast charge modulator pixel (electron transfer response of 180ps)[2], and low-noise high-dynamic-range column-parallel analog-to-digital converter (noise level of around 1 electron and dynamic range of more than 4 magnitudes)[3].
The most important feature of the CMOS image sensor is that we can design and implement functionality required in an imaging system taking advantage of spatial parallelism, that is, one or two dimensional pixels work simultaneously, special pixel addressing, and temporal charge modulation. Furthermore, the system-on-chip approach can realize a small imaging device. Examples of dedicated CMOS image sensors developed at our laboratory for biomedical applications such as FLIM, NIRS, SRS, and multi-beam confocal microscopes will be shown. I would like to talk about how we were motivated to create new sensors and how their architectures and specifications were determined. Then, I would like to make discussions with you about tailor-made CMOS image sensors to your applications.

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