PhD Thesis Proposal: Dakota Starkey

Thursday, December 13, 2018, 9:00–11:00am

Rm 232 Cummings Hall (Jackson Conference Room)

“A Novel Comparator Calibration Technique For Quanta Image Sensor Systems”


Today, CMOS image sensors are ubiquitous in our everyday life whether it be for personal use in phones and cars or medical, scientific and other high sensitivity applications. However, the improvements in CMOS image sensor technology that have gotten us to this point have also resulted in decreased performance in applications such as low-light imaging and high- dynamic range imaging. The need for sensors that meet these specifications have continued to grow so the Quanta Image Sensor (QIS) was proposed in 2005 as a third generation of image sensor technology with a new paradigm for signal collection and image reconstruction. A QIS would consist of a large array of tiny pixels, called jots, which are sensitive to a single photon and probed at a very high frame rate in order to count if a photon reached the sensor during the integration time. This high sensitivity drastically improves the low-light performance of the device, while the binary nature of the signal makes noise-free signal binning possible for improved dynamic range.

To realize a QIS new pixel designs and readout electronics are needed to ensure photon- counting sensitivity is achieved while also designing a high sensitivity, single-bit ADC that can run at high speeds and consumes minimal power. This dissertation looks to address these issues by exploring new design methodologies and experimentally verifying their effectiveness to help guide future QIS designs. The properties of a QIS-based system are also explored to better understand its unique performance and leverage these properties to help formulate new characterization and calibration methodologies.

Thesis Committee

For more information, contact Daryl Laware at