New advancements in charge-coupled device technology: subelectron noise and 4096 x 4096 pixel CCDs
This paper reports on two new advancements in CCD technology. The first area of development has produced a special purpose CCD designed for ultra low-signal level imaging and spectroscopy applications that require sub-electron read noise floors. A nondestructive output circuit operating near its 1/f noise regime is clocked in a special manner to read a single pixel multiple times. Off-chip electronics average the multiple values, reducing the random noise by the square-root of the number of samples taken. Noise floors below 0.5 electrons rms are reported. The second development involves the design and performance of a high resolution imager of 4096 x 4096 pixels, the largest CCD manufactured in terms of pixel count. The device utilizes a 7.5-micron pixel fabricated with three-level poly-silicon to achieve high yield.
© 1990 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Skipper CCD funding was in part provided by the California Institute of Technology from a grant (AST-8503887) by the National Science Foundation. The 4096x4096 COD was funded with Ford Aerospace lR&D funds by Dr. Tony Tether, Vice President of Research and Development. Testing of both projects was carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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