Abstract

In this Letter, a direct light-to-digital converter based on an MOS-PN photodetector driven by pulsed voltage is presented. The objective is to avoid any analog-to-digital or time-to-digital conversion and, thereby, to pave the way for a new generation of fully digital imaging sensors with reduced complexity, area, and power consumption. Moreover, the pulsed voltage operation allows for a significant reduction of the dark level. The concept is validated by a theoretical study and TCAD simulations. A first prototype fabricated in 0.18 μm CMOS technology is presented. The experimental results under various light conditions show that the pulsed voltage improves the light sensitivity by several orders of magnitude.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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