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Ionizing radiation effects on CMOS image sensors (CIS) manufactured using a 0.18 mum imaging technology are presented through the behavior analysis of elementary structures, such as field oxide FET, gated diodes, photodiodes and MOSFETs. Oxide characterizations appear necessary to understand ionizing dose effects on devices and then on image sensors. The main degradations observed are photodiode dark current increases (caused by a generation current enhancement), minimum size NMOSFET off-state current rises and minimum size PMOSFET radiation induced narrow channel effects. All these effects are attributed to the shallow trench isolation degradation which appears much more sensitive to ionizing radiation than inter layer dielectrics. Unusual post annealing effects are reported in these thick oxides. Finally, the consequences on sensor design are discussed thanks to an irradiated pixel array and a comparison with previous work is discussed.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2008