Imaging Technology

The Advanced Imager Technology program area has developed a wide range of core technologies that have been used to produce specialized high-performance imaging devices and that are available for new applications.

High Sensitivity

High-sensitivity techiques enable imagers to approach ideal performance. These include
  • Low-read-noise output-amplifier circuits, including innovative PJFET (positive–junction field effect transistor) and other high-responsivity circuits
  • High-quantum-efficiency and high-fill-factor back-illuminated devices
  • High-resistivity back-illuminated devices for wide wavelength sensitivity in the X-ray and near-infrared (IR) wavelength regions
  • Single-electron-sensitive (zero read noise), Geiger-mode-avalanche-photodiode (APD)-basImaged area array devices that are integrated with CMOS readout circuits on the imaging focal plane 

Innovative Device Structures 

A variety of device structures have been invented and developed to enable specialized CCD back-illuminated imaging devices with 100% fill factor. 
  • Orthogonal-transfer CCD for compensation of image motion
  • Electronic shutter for back-illuminated devices
  • Silicon membrane curved focal surface imagers
  • Multiple storage sites in a single full-fill-factor back-illuminated CCD pixel
  • Anti-blooming drain for full-fill-factor back-illuminated imagers
  • Deep-depletion back-illuminated technology for extended IR and X-ray response
  • 3D integration of CMOS circuits with imager layers

Innovative Materials

  • Uniform, controllable, and repeatable large-area epitaxy for GaInAsP/InP single-photon detectors
  • Buffer layers for lattice-mismatched GaInAs/InPAs* Geiger-mode APDs
  • Bandgap-engineered absorbers for extended-wavelength InP-based APDs
  • Innovative use of antimonide materials for mid-wave infrared APDs

Innovative Design

Advanced electronic imaging is more than just photography. It involves sensing the relevant property of the light (intensity, time of arrival, wavelength) and, in many cases, manipulating the image while it is still on the imaging device in order to facilitate information extraction. The "image" presented by the device may show this extracted information instead of a conventional two-dimensional image. Lincoln Laboratory has developed a unique collection of advanced imagers supporting information-enhancing capabilities not available in commercial cameras and enabling high-performance systems. Please visit our page on Application-Specific Design to learn more.

Large-Area Devices

  • Silicon and III-V state-of-the-art fabrication facilities enable practical very large-area devices with custom processes at very low defect levels.



*gallium (Ga), indium (In) arsenide (As), phosphide (P)


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