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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Image Sensor and Method for Manufacturing the Same", for Approval

May 28, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor CHOI, Sun (Icheon-si, KR), filed on February 8, 2013, was made available online on May 15, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments of the invention relate to an image sensor and a method for manufacturing the same.

"The image sensor is a semiconductor device for converting an optical image to an electric signal. Typical image sensors include a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) image sensor and a CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor.

"In comparison to the CCD image sensor, the CMOS image sensor has advantages in that a driving system is simple, a variety of scanning systems can be embodied, a signal processing circuit can be integrated with the unit pixels onto a single chip enabling a smaller product, and power consumption is low. Owing to such advantages, the CMOS image sensor has many applications, such as DSC (Digital Still Camera), PC Camera, Mobile Camera, and so on.

"In the CMOS image sensor, there may be 3T type, 4T type, or 5T type CMOS image sensors according to the number of transistors in the unit pixel. The unit pixel may include one photodiode and, depending on the type, at least one transistor (for example, a transfer transistor, a reset transistor, a select transistor, and a drive transistor).

"In general, the image sensor may include a microlens for collecting light, a color filter for filtering the collected light, a photodiode for sensing the light passing through the color filter, and at least one transistor electrically connected to the photodiode."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Accordingly, the present invention is directed to an image sensor and a method for manufacturing the same.

"Objects of the present invention include providing an image sensor which can prevent loss of light and improve sensitivity, and a method for manufacturing the same.

"Additional advantages, objects, and features of the disclosure will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those having skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by the structure(s) particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.

"To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose(s) of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, an image sensor having a pixel region, a logic region, and an analog region, includes a photodiode region in the pixel region of a substrate, an insulating layer on the substrate containing a zero wiring layer in the pixel region, a first wiring layer in the pixel region, the logic region, and the analog region, a second wiring layer in the logic region and the analog region, a first trench in a portion of the insulating layer in the pixel region to match to the pixel region, second trenches in a bottom of the first trench to match to the photodiode region, color filter layers in the respective second trenches, and microlenses on the respective color filter layers.

"The color filter layer may have an upper side between the first wiring layer and the second wiring layer.

"The color filter layer may be between adjacent zero wiring layers and adjacent first wiring layers.

"The color filter layer may have an upper side on the same plane as the bottom of the first trench.

"The color filter layer may have an upper side higher than the bottom of the first trench.

"The color filter layer may include a plurality of color filters in the second trenches, wherein the bottom of the first trench may be between the color filters.

"The microlens(es) may be on the color filters and a lowermost surface of the first trench.

"In another aspect of the present invention, a method for manufacturing an image sensor having a pixel region, a logic region, and an analog region, includes the steps of forming a photodiode region in a substrate in the pixel region, forming an insulating layer on the substrate containing a zero wiring layer in the pixel region, a first wiring layer in the pixel region, the logic region, and the analog region, and a second wiring layer in the logic region and the analog region, forming a first trench by etching a portion of the insulating layer in the pixel region matched to the pixel region, forming second trenches by etching a portion of the insulating layer under the first trench, matched to the photodiode region, forming color filter layers in the respective second trenches, and forming microlenses on the respective color filter layers.

"The first trench may have a bottom or lowermost surface between the first wiring layer and the second wiring layer. Each of the second trenches may extend from a space between adjacent zero wiring layers to a space between adjacent first wiring layers.

"The method may further include the step of forming an etch stop film between the zero wiring layer and the substrate, and each of the second trenches may expose the etch stop film.

"The color filter layer may have an uppermost surface on the same plane with, or higher than, the bottom of the first trench.

"Advantageous Effects

"The image sensor of the present invention can reduce a length of a light path between the photodiode and the microlens, thereby preventing loss of light, and improve sensitivity.

"It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the disclosure and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this application, illustrate embodiment(s) of the disclosure and together with the description serve to explain the principle(s) of the disclosure. In the drawings:

"FIG. 1 illustrates a section of an image sensor in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

"FIGS. 2A to 2E illustrate sections showing the steps of an exemplary method for manufacturing an image sensor in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 3 illustrates a section of an image sensor in accordance with another embodiment of the invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: CHOI, Sun. Image Sensor and Method for Manufacturing the Same. Filed February 8, 2013 and posted May 15, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=5335&p=107&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140508.PD.&OS=PD/20140508&RS=PD/20140508

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Electronics, Semiconductor.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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