Lincoln Laboratory high-speed solid-state imager technology
September 17, 2006
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) has been developing both continuous and burst solid-state focal-plane-array technology for a variety of high-speed imaging applications. For continuous imaging, a 128 ¿ 128-pixel charge coupled device (CCD) has been fabricated with multiple output ports for operating rates greater than 10,000 frames per second with readout noise of less than 10 e- rms. An electronic shutter has been integrated into the pixels of the back-illuminated (BI) CCD imagers that give snapshot exposure times of less than 10 ns. For burst imaging, a 5 cm x 5 cm, 512 x 512-element, multi-frame CCD imager that collects four sequential image frames at megahertz rates has been developed for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) facility. To operate at fast frame rates with high sensitivity, the imager uses the same electronic shutter technology as the continuously framing 128 x 128 CCD imager. The design concept and test results are described for the burst-frame-rate imager. Also discussed is an evolving solid-state imager technology that has interesting characteristics for creating large-format x-ray detectors with ultra-short exposure times (100 to 300 ps). The detector will consist of CMOS readouts for high speed sampling (tens of picoseconds transistor switching times) that are bump bonded to deep-depletion silicon photodiodes. A 64 x 64-pixel CMOS test chip has been designed, fabricated and characterized to investigate the feasibility of making large-format detectors with short, simultaneous exposure times.