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RIT Course Number Lecture CCDs

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1 RIT Course Number 1051-465 Lecture CCDs
Detectors RIT Course Number Lecture CCDs

2 Aims for this lecture To describe the basic CCD
physical principles operation and performance of CCDs Given modern examples of CCDs

3 CCD Introduction A CCD is a two-dimensional array of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors. The charges are stored in the depletion region of the MOS capacitors. Charges are moved in the CCD circuit by manipulating the voltages on the gates of the capacitors so as to allow the charge to spill from one capacitor to the next (thus the name “charge-coupled” device). An amplifier provides an output voltage that can be processed. The CCD is a serial device where charge packets are read one at a time.

4 CCD Physics

5 Semiconductors A conductor allows for the flow of electrons in the presence of an electric field. An insulator inpedes the flow of electrons. A semiconductor becomes a conductor if the electrons are excited to high enough energies, otherwise it is an insulator. allows for a “switch” which can be on or off allows for photo-sensitive circuits (photon absorption adds energy to electron) Minimum energy to elevate an electron into conduction is the “band gap energy”

6 Periodic Table Semiconductors occupy column IV of the Periodic Table
Outer shells have four empty valence states An outer shell electron can leave the shell if it absorbs enough energy

7 Simplified silicon band diagram
Conduction band Eg bandgap Valence band

8 Semiconductor Dopants

9 PN Junctions In a PN junction, positively charged holes diffuse into the n-type material. Likewise, negatively charged electrons diffuse in the the p-type material. This process is halted by the resulting E-field. The affected volume is known as a “depletion region”. The charge distribution in the depletion region is electrically equivalent to a 2-plate capacitor.

10 Photon detection in PN junctions
A photon can interact with the semiconductor to create an electron-hole pair. The electron will be drawn to the most positively charged zone in the PN junction, located in the depletion region in the n-type material. Likewise, the positively charged hole will seek the most negatively charged region. Each photon thus removes one unit of charge from the capacitor. This is how photons are detected in both CCDs and most IR arrays.

11 MOS Capacitor Geometry
A Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (MOS) capacitor has a potential difference between two metal plates separated by an insulartor. 11

12 Surface Channel Potential Well

13 Potential in MOS Capacitor

14 CCD Readout

15 “Bucket Brigade” C:\figerdev\RIT\teaching\Detectors \source material\CCDMovieMOD.gif

16 CCD Readout Animation

17 CCD Readout Alternate Animation

18 CCD Readout Architecture Terms
Charge motion Serial (horizontal) register Parallel (vertical) registers Pixel Image area (exposed to light) Output amplifier masked area (not exposed to light)

19 CCD Clocking

20 CCD Phased Clocking: Introduction
Photons entering the CCD create electron-hole pairs. The electrons are then attracted towards the most positive potential in the device where they create ‘charge packets’. Each packet corresponds to one pixel boundary pixel incoming photons boundary pixel Electrode Structure n-type silicon Charge packet p-type silicon SiO2 Insulating layer

21 CCD Phased Clocking: Step 1
+5V 0V -5V 1 2 3 1 2 3 Time-slice shown in diagram

22 CCD Phased Clocking: Step 2
+5V 0V -5V 1 2 3 1 2 3

23 CCD Phased Clocking: Step 3
+5V 0V -5V 1 2 3 1 2 3

24 CCD Phased Clocking: Step 4
+5V 0V -5V 1 2 3 1 2 3

25 CCD Phased Clocking: Step 5
+5V 0V -5V 1 2 3 1 2 3

26 CCD Phased Clocking: Summary

27 CCD output circuit This is the corner of the CCD where the output transistor is, on modern CCDs you usually get one of these in each corner, so you can move charge in different parts of the chip in different directions to speed up this process by a factor four. Charge is shifted through the output diode into a capacitor, this is measured by measuring a voltage change on the output from the readout transistor. The capacitor is then reset by the reset transistor.

28 CCD Readout Layout

29 CCD Readout Device

30 CCD Readout Device Closeup

31 CCD Enhancements

32 Buried channel CCD Surface channel CCDs shift charge along a thin layer in the semiconductor that is just below the oxide insulator. This layer has crystal irregularities which can trap charge, causing loss of charge and image smear. If there is a layer of n-doped silicon above the p-doped layer, and a voltage bias is applied between the layers, the storage region will be deep within the depletion region. This is called a buried-channel CCD, and it suffers much less from charge trapping. Now we have talked about basic CCD technology as it was in the 1980s, more recently several innovations have improved CCD performance enormously. The first of these we will talk about is the use of buried channel CCDs. This is a way of avoiding charge trapping at the surface of the silicon by moving the electrons along channels deep within the silicon. 32

33 A single pixel in a buried channel CCD
This is a schematic of a single pixel in a buried channel CCD. A single pixel in a buried channel CCD 33

34 Buried Channel Potential Well
This is a schematic of a single pixel in a buried channel CCD. 34

35 Back Side Illumination
As described to now, the CCDs are illuminated through the electrodes. Electrodes are semi-transparent, but some losses occur, and they are non-uniform losses, so the sensitivity will vary within one pixel. The “fill factor” will be less than one. Solution is to illuminate the CCD from the back side. This requires thinning the CCD, either by mechanical machining or chemical etching, to about 15μm. Thinning is a way of improving sensitivity, especially at blue wavelengths. 35

36 Photon Propogation in Thinned Device
Incoming photons p-type silicon n-type silicon Silicon dioxide insulating layer 625mm Polysilicon electrodes Anti-reflective (AR) coating Incoming photons p-type silicon n-type silicon Silicon dioxide insulating layer 15mm Polysilicon electrodes 36

37 Random Walk in Field-Free Thick Device
Thinning is a way of improving sensitivity, especially at blue wavelengths. 37

38 Sweep Field Thinning is a way of improving sensitivity, especially at blue wavelengths. 38

39 Short l QE Improvement from Thinning

40 CCD Performance

41 CCD Performance Categories
Charge generation Quantum Efficiency (QE), Dark Current Charge collection full well capacity, pixels size, pixel uniformity, defects, diffusion (Modulation Transfer Function, MTF) Charge transfer Charge transfer efficiency (CTE), defects Charge detection Readout Noise (RON), linearity

42 Photon Absorption Length in Si

43 Well Capacity Well capacity is defined as the maximum charge that can be held in a pixel. “Saturation” is the term that describes when a pixel has accumulated the maximum amount of charge that it can hold. The “full well” capacity in a CCD is typically a few hundred thousand electrons per pixel for today’s technologies. A rough rule of thumb is that well capacity is about 10,000 electrons/um2. The following gives a typical example (for a surface channel CCD).

44 Well Capacity and Blooming
Spillage Spillage boundary pixel boundary pixel Overflowing charge packet Photons Photons Blooming

45 Blooming Example Bloomed star images

46 Read-Out Noise Read noise is mainly due to Johnson noise in amplifier.
This noise can be reduced by reducing the bandwidth, but this requires that readout is slower.

47 Defects: Dark Columns Dark columns: caused by ‘traps’ that block the vertical transfer of charge during image readout. Traps can be caused by crystal boundaries in the silicon of the CCD or by manufacturing defects. Although they spoil the chip cosmetically, dark columns are not a big problem (removed by calibration).

48 Defects: Bright Columns
Bright columns are also caused by traps . Electrons contained in such traps can leak out during readout causing a vertical streak. Hot Spots are pixels with higher than normal dark current. Their brightness increases linearly with exposure times Somewhat rarer are light-emitting defects which are hot spots that act as tiny LEDS and cause a halo of light on the chip. Bright Column Cluster of Hot Spots Cosmic rays

49 Charge Transfer Efficiency
CTE = Charge Transfer Efficiency (typically to ) = fraction of electrons transferred from one pixel to the next CTI = Charge Transfer Inefficiency = 1 – CTE (typically 10– 6 to 10– 4) = fraction of electrons deferred by one pixel or more Cause of CTI: charges are trapped (and later released) by defects in the silicon crystal lattice CTE of used to be thought of as pretty good but …. Think of a 9K x 9K CCD 49

50 Charge Transfer Efficiency
When the wells are nearly empty, charge can be trapped by impurities in the silicon. So faint images can have tails in the vertical direction. Modern CCDs can have a charge transfer efficiency (CTE) per transfer of , so after 2000 transfers only 0.1% of the charge is lost. Charge can be trapped as you read it out, although with modern buried channel CCDs this is much less of a problems than it used to be. good CTE bad CTE 50

51 Example: X-ray events with charge smearing in an
irradiated CCD (from GAIA-LU-TN01) In the simplest picture (“linear CTI”) part of the original image is smeared with an exponential decay function, producing “tails”: original image after n transfers direction of charge transfer 51

52 Deferred Charge vs. CTE and Size
Percentage of charge which is really transferred. “n” 9s: five 9s = %

53 Dark Current Dark current is generated when thermal effects cause an electron to move from the valence band to the conduction band. The majority of dark current is created near the interface between the Si and the SiO2, where interface states at energy between the valence and conduction bands act as a stepping stone for electrons. CCDs can be operated at temperatures of around 140K, to reduce thermal effects. The dark current is background signal generated by thermal effects. Because of the dark current CCds are run cooled, to reduce the possibility of thermal excitation of electrocs across the band gap. 53

54 Dark Current vs. Temperature
Thermally generated electrons are indistinguishable from photo-generated electrons : “Dark Current” (noise) Cool the CCD down!!!

55 Linearity and Saturation
Typically the full well capacity of a CCD pixel 25 μm square is 500,000 electrons. If the charge in the well exceeds about 80% of this value the response will be non-linear. If it exceeds this value charge will spread through the barrier phase to surrounding pixels. This charge blooming occurs mainly vertically, as there is little horizontal bleeding because of the permanent doped channel stops. Readout register pixels are larger, so there is less saturation effect in the readout register. We can work this number out, and there is a problems on this. If we exceed the capacity then charge tends to spread up and down the columns. Not across because of the permanent channel stops, and not in the readout register where we increase the pixel area to increase the charge capacity. 55

56 CCD readout noise Reset noise: there is a noise associated with recharging the output storage capacitor, given by σreset=  (kTC) where C is the output capacitance in Farads. Surface state noise, due to fast interface states which absorb and release charges on short timescales. This is removed by correlated double sampling, where the reset voltage is measured after reset and again after readout. The first value is subtracted from the second, as this voltage will not change. The output Field Effect Transistor also contributes noise. This is the ultimate limit to the readout noise, at a level of 2-3 electrons Surface state noise is akin to charge transfer problems, and like those is much reduced in buried channel CCDs. The largest source of noise in the best modern CCDs is the FET noise from the previous slide. 56

57 Other noise sources Fixed pattern noise. The sensitivity of pixels is not the same, for reasons such as differences in thickness, area of electrodes, doping. However these differences do not change, and can be calibrated out by dividing by a flat field, which is an exposure of a uniform light source. Bias noise. The bias voltage applied to the substrate causes an offset in the signal, which can vary from pixel to pixel. This can be removed by subtracting the average of a number of bias frames, which are readouts of zero exposure frames. Modern CCDs rarely display any fixed pattern bias noise. Fixed pattern noise can be quite serious, but is calibrated out with a flat field. 57

58 Interference Fringes In thinned CCDs there are interference effects caused by multiple reflections within the silicon layer, or within the resin which holds the CCD to a glass plate to flatten it. These effects are classical thin film interference (Newton’s rings). Only visible if there is strong line radiation in the passband, either in the object or in the sky background. Visible in the sky at wavelengths > 700nm. Corrected by dividing by a scaled exposure of blank sky. Fringing can dominate the noise in the redder photometric bands, or in narrow bands, and can sometimes force us back to using thick CCDs despite the loss in RQE. 58

59 Examples of fringing Fringing on H1RG SiPIN device at 980nm 59

60 CCD Examples

61 First astronomical CCD image
1974 on an 8” telescope 61

62 CCD in a Dual-Inline Package
Delta-Doped Charged Coupled Devices (CCD) for Ultra-Violet and Visible Detection CCDs allow scientists to study one of the least explored windows of the electromagnetic spectrum - the extreme ultraviolet. Until recently, scientists believed there was little point to exploring this spectral region. They thought that the mixture of hydrogen gas and other less abundant gases, which fill the space between stars and is commonly called the "interstellar medium," would absorb virtually all extreme ultraviolet radiation before it became detectable from Earth. Consequently, this region became known as the "unobservable ultraviolet." This is where stable ultraviolet CCDs step in for crucial space and ground-based astronomy to detect younger, hotter objects. Because of the high quantum efficiency of these devices, very faint objects can potentially be observed. Stability of the device makes it possible to gather reliable data in space-based astronomy. Scientists will learn much more about hot white dwarf stars - extremely dense stars that represent a final stage of stellar evolution - and young massive stars that are characterized by outflowing, shock-heated winds. Moreover, they will learn about cataclysmic variable stars, binary star systems in which the mass of one star is transferred to the other, causing dramatic changes in extreme ultraviolet brightness. They may even have a chance to probe the enigmatic cores of distant galaxies."

63 Canada-France-Hawaii telescope 12k x8k mosaic
CCDs and mosaics Astronomers are greedy and want lots of pixels and lots of sky area. Largest single CCDs are typically 4096 by 2048 pixels (left) but are three edge buttable. Astronomers put these together in mosaics to give a larger effective sky area. 4096 x edge buttable CCD Canada-France-Hawaii telescope 12k x8k mosaic

64 MegaCam 40 CCDs, 377 Mpixels, CFHT
Megacam is the next generation of CCD mosaic imagers at the Canada France Hawaii telescope. With mosaics like this you have to be very careful to get the CCDs in the same plane, otherwise parts of the image will be out of focus.

65 HST/WFC3 Megacam is the next generation of CCD mosaic imagers at the Canada France Hawaii telescope. With mosaics like this you have to be very careful to get the CCDs in the same plane, otherwise parts of the image will be out of focus.

66 CCD Science Applications

67 These are some examples of publicity colour images from MegaCam, of course a CCD is not a colour camera, so these are colour composite images (separate RGB). Stop here Tuesday

68 Large CCD Mosaics

69 The LSST Camera

70 The LSST Focal Plane Wavefront Sensors (4 locations)
Guide Sensors (8 locations) 3.5 degree Field of View (634 mm diameter)

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