A monolithic three dimensional charged coupled device (3D-CCD) which utilizes the entire bulk of the semiconductor for charge generation, storage, and transfer. The 3D-CCD provides a vast improvement of current CCD architectures that use only the surface of the semiconductor substrate. The 3D-CCD is capable of developing a strong E-field throughout the depth of the semiconductor by using deep (buried) parallel (bulk) electrodes in the substrate material. Using backside illumination, the 3D-CCD architecture enables a single device to image photon energies from the visible, to the ultra-violet and soft x-ray, and out to higher energy x-rays of 30 keV and beyond. The buried or bulk electrodes are electrically connected to the surface electrodes, and an E-field parallel to the surface is established with the pixel in which the bulk electrodes are located. This E-field attracts charge to the bulk electrodes independent of depth and confines it within the pixel in which it is generated. Charge diffusion is greatly reduced because the E-field is strong due to the proximity of the bulk electrodes.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.