Performance of a novel wafer scale CMOS active pixel sensor for bio-medical imaging

Esposito, Michela and Anaxagoras, Thalis and Zheng, Y. and Speller, Robert and Evans, Philip and Allinson, Nigel and Wells, Kevin (2014) Performance of a novel wafer scale CMOS active pixel sensor for bio-medical imaging. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 59 (13). pp. 3533-3554. ISSN 0031-9155

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Abstract

Recently CMOS Active Pixels Sensors (APSs) have become a valuable alternative to amorphous Silicon and Selenium Flat Panel Imagers (FPIs) in bio-medical imaging applications. CMOS APSs can now be scaled up to the standard 20 cm diameter wafer size by means of a reticle stitching block process. However despite wafer scale CMOS APS being monolithic, sources of non-uniformity of response and regional variations can persist representing a significant challenge for wafer scale sensor response. Non-uniformity of stitched sensors can arise from a number of factors related to the manufacturing process, including variation of amplification, variation between readout components, wafer defects and process variations across the wafer due to manufacturing processes. This paper reports on an investigation into the spatial non-uniformity and regional variations of a wafer scale stitched CMOS APS. For the first time a per-pixel analysis of the electro-optical performance of a wafer CMOS APS is presented, to address inhomogeneity issues arising from the stitching techniques used to manufacture wafer scale sensors. A complete model of the signal generation in the pixel array has been provided and proved capable of accounting for noise and gain variations across the pixel array. This novel analysis leads to readout noise and conversion gain being evaluated at pixel level, stitching block level and in regions of interest, resulting in a coefficient of variation ≤ 1.9%. The uniformity of the image quality performance has been further investigated in a typical X-ray application, i.e. mammography, showing a uniformity in terms of CNR among the highest when compared with mammography detectors commonly used in clinical practise. Finally, in order to compare the detection capability of this novel APS with the currently used technology (i.e. FPIs), theoretical evaluation of the Detection Quantum Efficiency (DQE) at zero-frequency has been performed, resulting in a higher DQE for this detector compared to FPIs. Optical characterization, X-ray contrast measurements and theoretical DQE evaluation suggest that a trade off can be found between the need of a large imaging area and the requirement of a uniform imaging performance, making the DynAMITe large area CMOS APS suitable for a range of bio-medical applications.

Keywords:CMOS Active Pixel Sensors, Wafer scale sensors, Reticle stitching, Bio-medical imaging, Mammography, bmjnyp, NotOAChecked
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F350 Medical Physics
A Medicine and Dentistry > A300 Clinical Medicine
H Engineering > H612 Integrated Circuit Design
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:13911
Deposited On:09 May 2014 15:34

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