Photodetection with gate-controlled lateral BJTs from standard CMOS technology
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The silicon-based gate-controlled lateral bipolar junction transistor (BJT) is a controllable four-terminal photodetector with very high responsivity at low-light intensities. It is a hybrid device composed of a MOSFET, a lateral BJT, and a vertical BJT. Using sufficient gate bias to operate the MOS transistor in inversion mode, the photodetector allows for increasing the photocurrent gain by 106 at low light intensities when the base-emitter voltage is smaller than 0.4 V, and BJT is off. Two operation modes, with constant voltage bias between gate and emitter/source terminals and between gate and base/body terminals, allow for tuning the photoresponse from sublinear to slightly above linear, satisfying the application requirements for wide dynamic range, high-contrast, or linear imaging. MOSFETs from a standard 0.18-μm triple-well complementary-metal oxide semiconductor technology with a width to length ratio of 8 μm /2 μm and a total area of ∼ 500μm2 are used. When using this area, the responsivities are 16-20 kA/W. © 2001-2012 IEEE.