Affiliated with Université Laval & CERVO Research Centre

A high-precision CMOS biophotometry sensor with noise cancellation and two-step A/D conversion

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


2017 15th IEEE International New Circuits and Systems Conference (NEWCAS) (2017)


Biosensors, Capacitive transimpedance amplifier, Capacitors, CMOS photodetector, Detectors, Dynamic range, integrating ADC, Noise cancellation, Optoelectronic fluorescence biosensor, Photodetector, Photodiodes, Photometry, SAR ADC, Switches


<p>Fluorescence biophotometry measurements require wide dynamic range (DR) and high sensitivity laboratory apparatus. Indeed, it is often very challenging to accurately resolve the small fluorescence variations in presence of high background tissue autofluorescence. There is a great need for smaller detectors combining high linearity, high sensitivity, and high-energy efficiency. This paper presents a new high-dynamic range CMOS photodetector embedding a photosensor and a high-precision two-step analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with a noise cancellation scheme. In this system, a 16-bit two-step ADC sucessivley uses an integrating ADC and a successive approximation register (SAR) ADC enabling wide dynamic range and high energy-efficiency photocurrent quantization. Noise cancellation is achieved through a SAR digital-to-analog (DAC) capacitor bank to store and subtract the low-frequency noise from the output of a capacitive transimpedance amplifier (CTIA) throughout each data conversion. The 6-most significant bits are resolved through the integrating ADC, while the 10-least significant bits are extracted by the SAR ADC. The two-step data converter uses a hardware sharing scheme to decrease the chip size and to improve energy-efficiency. The proposed optoelectronic detector is implemented in a 0.18-µm CMOS technology, consuming 60 µW from a 3.3-V supply voltage while achieving a DR of 94 dB, a minimum detectable current of 200-ƒArms, at 1-kS/s sampling rate. The proposed biosensor presents a FOM of 1.46 pJ/conv. which is among the best reported performance among similar systems.</p>