CMOS Time-correlated Array Sensor for Time-resolved Detection

Project: Research

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Demand for accurate, rapid, and low-cost medical diagnostics has been ever rising. Time-resolvedluminescence detection is a powerful and well-adopted technique in the biological andmedical sciences. It has wide applications such as diseases screening and cancer research.The time-resolved technique extracts a wealth of information embedded in the temporal domain,such as the structure and surrounding environment of a molecule. The technique, however, demandssophisticated equipment. Today, there is a lack of mature and systematic approach to design theequipment without severe performance compromises. The high equipment cost is merely toleratedby well-funded labs but prohibitive to ubiquitous in-field deployment.In this project, we propose to design, prototype, and experimentally validate a novel microsystembased on a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) array sensor for time-resolvedluminescence detection. The prototype is expected to consist of an array of single photon avalanchediodes and signal processing circuits to support parallel detection and imaging. The microsystemwill be demonstrated using a practical medical diagnostics application, such as disease screening orpathogen detection.There are three major novelties. First, ultra-wide dynamic range operation supports a variety ofluminescence lifetimes, greatly expanding the class of applications supported by a single device.Second, a global-local time-to-digital converter (TDC) architecture facilitates circuit sharing,providing pixel-parallel operation while minimizing pixel circuit area. Third, contact imagingsignificantly reduces the optical components in the system, further reducing size and cost.The sensory technologies developed in this project will enable an unprecedented level ofselectivity, sensitivity, and miniaturization, thus help bring about a new generation of highly-integrated,portable analysis devices, particularly for rapid, point-of-care medical diagnostics. Thisadvancement will alleviate the rapidly increasing financial burden from healthcare and improvingthe quality of life simultaneously.


Project number9042207
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/1622/06/20

    Research areas

  • CMOS integrated circuit,CMOS sensory microsystem,CMOS fluorescence detection,Low-power sensor readout,