The invention comprises a combination of a low resistivity, or electrically conducting, silicon layer that is transparent to long or short wavelength photons and is attached to the backside of a photon-sensitive layer of silicon, such as a silicon wafer or chip. The window is applied to photon sensitive silicon devices such as photodiodes, charge-coupled devices, active pixel sensors, low-energy x-ray sensors and other radiation detectors. The silicon window is applied to the back side of a photosensitive silicon wafer or chip so that photons can illuminate the device from the backside without interference from the circuit printed on the frontside. A voltage sufficient to fully deplete the high-resistivity photosensitive silicon volume of charge carriers is applied between the low-resistivity back window and the front, patterned, side of the device. This allows photon-induced charge created at the backside to reach the front side of the device and to be processed by any circuitry attached to the front side. Using the inventive combination, the photon sensitive silicon layer does not need to be thinned beyond standard fabrication methods in order to achieve full charge-depletion in the silicon volume. In one embodiment, the inventive backside window is applied to high resistivity silicon to allow backside illumination while maintaining charge isolation in CCD pixels.
This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. The U.S. Government may have certain rights in this invention.