NHK Selenium Image Sensor

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Nature publishes NHK and Tokyo University of Science paper "Enhanced image sensing with avalanche multiplication in hybrid structure of crystalline selenium photoconversion layer and CMOSFETs" by Shigeyuki Imura, Keitada Mineo, Yuki Honda, Toshiki Arai, Kazunori Miyakawa, Toshihisa Watabe, Misao Kubota, Keisuke Nishimoto, Mutsumi Sugiyama, and Masakazu Nanba.

"The recent improvements of complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors are playing an essential role in emerging high-definition video cameras, which provide viewers with a stronger sensation of reality. However, the devices suffer from decreasing sensitivity due to the shrinkage of pixels. We herein address this problem by introducing a hybrid structure comprising crystalline-selenium (c-Se)-based photoconversion layers and 8 K resolution (7472 × 4320 pixels) CMOS field-effect transistors (FETs) to amplify signals using the avalanche multiplication of photogenerated carriers. Using low-defect-level NiO as an electric field buffer and an electron blocking layer, we confirmed signal amplification by a factor of approximately 1.4 while the dark current remained low at 2.6 nA/cm2 at a reverse bias voltage of 22.6 V. Furthermore, we successfully obtained a brighter image based on the amplified signals without any notable noise degradation."

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