4-Tap ToF Pixel for LiDAR Applications

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MDPI paper "A Time-of-Flight Range Sensor Using Four-Tap Lock-In Pixels with High near Infrared Sensitivity for LiDAR Applications" by Sanggwon Lee, Keita Yasutomi, Masato Morita, Hodaka Kawanishi, and Shoji Kawahito from Shizuoka University, Japan promises enhanced range and ambient light tolerance:

"In this paper, a back-illuminated (BSI) time-of-flight (TOF) sensor using 0.2 µm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology is developed for long-range laser imaging detection and ranging (LiDAR) application. A 200 µm-thick bulk silicon in the SOI substrate is fully depleted by applying high negative voltage at the backside for higher quantum efficiency (QE) in a near-infrared (NIR) region. The proposed SOI-based four-tap charge modulator achieves a high-speed charge modulation and high modulation contrast of 71% in a NIR region. In addition, in-pixel drain function is used for short-pulse TOF measurements. A distance measurement up to 27 m is carried out with +1.8~−3.0% linearity error and range resolution of 4.5 cm in outdoor conditions. The measured QE of 55% is attained at 940 nm which is suitable for outdoor use due to the reduced spectral components of solar radiation."

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