Contact Thermal Sensor with 10mK Sensitivity

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Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, publishes a MDPI paper "Current-Mode Self-Amplified CMOS Sensor Intended for 2D Temperature Microgradients Measurement and Imaging" by Patrick M. Santos, Davies W. L. Monteiro, and Luciana P. Salles.

"This paper presents the design of a current-mode CMOS self-amplified imager operating in dark conditions, for thermal imaging, which provides an innovative solution for precision thermal contact mapping. Possible applications of this imager range from 3D CMOS integrated circuits to the study of in-vivo biological samples. It can provide a thermal map, static or dynamic, for the measurement of temperature microgradients. Some adaptations are required for the optimization of this self-amplified image sensor since it responds exclusively to the dark currents of the photodiodes throughout the array. The sensor is designed in a standard CMOS process and requires no post-processing steps. The optimized image sensor operates with integration times as low as one μs and can achieve both SNR and dynamic range compatible to those of sensors available on the market, estimated as 87dB and 75dB, respectively; noise equivalent temperature difference can be as low as 10mK; and detection errors as low as ±1%. Furthermore, under optimal conditions the self-amplification process enables a simple form of CDS, enhancing the overall sensor noise performance."

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