Abstract

The optoelectronic properties of image sensors, among which are the photosensitivity and resolution, are key to the quality factors for imaging as well as spectrometry in Earth observation and scientific space exploration missions. Microlens arrays (MLAs) further improve state-of-the-art CMOS image sensors (CIS) by redirecting more photons into the photosensitive surface/volume of each pixel. This paper reports the design, deposition, optical characterization, and reliability assessment of such an MLA made from a UV-curable hybrid polymer and replicated on a packaged back-illuminated CIS having a pixel pitch of 15.5 µm. We find that such MLAs are highly stable to temperature variations, exposure to humidity, mechanical shocks and vibrations, as well as irradiation by gamma rays, while improving the parasitic light sensitivity by a factor of 1.8. Such MLAs can be applied on a large variety of image sensors, back-illuminated but mostly front-illuminated, with pixel pitches ranging from a few to several hundreds of micrometers, making them suitable for most specifications of the space industry.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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