Infoscience

Journal article

A Low-Noise CMOS THz Imager Based on Source Modulation and an In-Pixel High-Q Passive Switched-Capacitor N-Path Filter

This paper presents the first low noise complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) terahertz (THz) imager based on source modulation and in-pixel high-Q filtering. The 31 × 31 focal plane array has been fully integrated in a 0 . 13 μ m standard CMOS process. The sensitivity has been improved significantly by modulating the active THz source that lights the scene and performing on-chip high-Q filtering. Each pixel encompass a broadband bow tie antenna coupled to an N-type metal-oxide-semiconductor (NMOS) detector that shifts the THz radiation, a low noise adjustable gain amplifier and a high-Q filter centered at the modulation frequency. The filter is based on a passive switched-capacitor (SC) N-path filter combined with a continuous-time broad-band Gm-C filter. A simplified analysis that helps in designing and tuning the passive SC N-path filter is provided. The characterization of the readout chain shows that a Q factor of 100 has been achieved for the filter with a good matching between the analytical calculation and the measurement results. An input-referred noise of 0 . 2 μ V RMS has been measured. Characterization of the chip with different THz wavelengths confirms the broadband feature of the antenna and shows that this THz imager reaches a total noise equivalent power of 0 . 6 nW at 270 GHz and 0 . 8 nW at 600 GHz.

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