Imec Adds UV Sensing Capabilities to Its Portfolio of CCD-in-CMOS-based Time-Delay-Integration Imagers

imec’s high-speed UV-sensitive time-delay-integration imager

imec’s high-speed UV-sensitive time-delay-integration imager


Stuttgart (Germany), November 5, 2018 — This week at Vision 2018 (November 6-8 2018), imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, presents a high-speed UV-sensitive time-delay-integration (TDI) imager that is based on charge-coupled-device (CCD)-in-CMOS technology. The TDI imager has a quantum efficiency of more than 70% in the (near-)ultraviolet (UV) region, making it an appropriate tool for industrial machine vision, in particular inspection in semiconductor manufacturing processes. The specialty imager broadens imec’s CCD-in-CMOS-based TDI imager portfolio, that is offered through various business models – ranging from full-custom design to evaluation cameras.

imec’s high-speed UV-sensitive time-delay-integration imager

The new imager was fabricated using imec’s TDI CCD-in-CMOS technology, that combines CCD TDI pixels and CMOS readout in one technology. This combination allows the best of both worlds to be realized on a single line-scanning imager: low-noise, highly sensitive TDI performance, and low-power, on-chip integration of fast and complex readout circuitry.

UV sensitivity is obtained by applying imec’s backside illumination technology in combination with a dedicated antireflection coating. With backside illumination, light directly enters the imager from the backside, significantly enhancing the quantum efficiency of the image sensor. By adding a UV-specific antireflection coating, a high peak quantum efficiency of more than 70% is reached in the (near-)UV region of 250 – 400nm. Being sensitive to wavelengths smaller than the visible allows the imager to detect very small features – making the technology in particular attractive for semiconductor inspection applications, such as mask, wafer and particle inspection.

imec’s high-speed UV-sensitive time-delay-integration imager

The TDI sensors are manufactured on 200mm wafers by using imec’s CCD process module inside its 130nm CMOS process flow. This cost-effective manufacturing flow is compatible with other wafer-level post-processing techniques such as spectral filter integration for enhanced TDI performance. The resulting image sensors have a high sensitivity and speed (up to 300kHz line rate)and have a low power consumption.

Maarten Rosmeulen, program manager image sensors at imec: “With this high-speed, low-power TDI imager, we are happy to expand our range of TDI CCD-in-CMOS image sensors with UV sensing capabilities. We can now offer TDI CCD-in-CMOS image sensors with high quantum efficiencies in both the UV and visible ranges, enabling a wealth of high-end applications, including remote sensing, medical imaging and industrial machine vision.”

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Quantum Photonics



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