The ability to reproduce a high-quality image depends strongly on the image sensor light sensitivity. This sensitivity depends, in turn, on the materials, the circuitry, and the optical properties of the pixel. We calculate the optical efficiency of a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor pixel by using a geometrical-optics phase-space approach. We compare the theoretical predictions with measurements made by using a CMOS digital pixel sensor, and we find them to be in agreement within 3%. Finally, we show how to use these optical efficiency calculations to trade off image sensor pixel sensitivity and functionality as CMOS process technology scales.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 19, 2001
Manuscript Accepted: January 31, 2002
Published: August 1, 2002
Peter B. Catrysse and Brian A. Wandell, "Optical efficiency of image sensor pixels," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 1610-1620 (2002)