Image sensors are the core components of computer, communication, and consumer electronic products. Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors have become the mainstay of image-sensing developments, but are prone to leakage current. In this study, we simulate the CMOS image sensor (CIS) film stacking process by finite element analysis. To elucidate the relationship between the leakage current and stack architecture, we compare the simulated and measured leakage currents in the elements. Based on the analysis results, we further improve the performance by optimizing the architecture of the film stacks or changing the thin-film material. The material parameters are then corrected to improve the accuracy of the simulation results. The simulated and experimental results confirm a positive correlation between measured leakage current and stress. This trend is attributed to the structural defects induced by high stress, which generate leakage. Using this relationship, we can change the structure of the thin-film stack to reduce the leakage current and thereby improve the component life and reliability of the CIS components.
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