Low-Noise Analog Front-End Signal Processing Channel Integration for Pixelated Semiconductor Radiation Detector

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1 Low-Noise Analog Front-End Signal Processing Channel Integration for Pixelated Semiconductor Radiation Detector by Ming-Cheng Lin B. A. Sc, Simon Fraser University, 2009 Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Applied Science in the School of Engineering Science Faculty of Applied Sciences Ming-Cheng Lin 2012 SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY Spring 2012 All rights reserved. However, in accordance with the Copyright Act of Canada, this work may be reproduced, without authorization, under the conditions for Fair Dealing. Therefore, limited reproduction of this work for the purposes of private study, research, criticism, review and news reporting is likely to be in accordance with the law, particularly if cited appropriately.

2 Approval Name: Degree: Ming-Cheng Lin Master of Applied Science Title of Thesis: Low-Noise Analog Front-End Signal Processing Channel Integration for Pixelated Semiconductor Radiation Detector Examining Committee: Chair: Dr. Mirza Faisal Beg, P.Eng Associate Professor, School of Engineering Science Dr. Marek Syrzycki, P.Eng Senior Supervisor Professor, School of Engineering Science Dr. Rick Hobson, P.Eng Supervisor Professor, School of Engineering Science Dr. Ash M. Parameswaran, P.Eng Examiner Professor, School of Engineering Science Date Defended/Approved: January 30, 2012 ii

3 Partial Copyright Licence

4 Abstract In the research development of the medical nuclear imaging, the low noise performance has always been a mandatory requirement in the design of the semiconductor pixelated radiation detector system in order to achieve the high detectability of the charge signal. The noise-optimized analog front-end signal processing channel composed of the charge sensitive amplifier and the pulse shaper is used extensively in processing the radiation charge signals from the pixelated semiconductor detector. The existing noise optimization methodology only deals with the major noise contributors such as the input transistor in the charge sensitive amplifier. However, as CMOS technologies progress deeper into the submicron range, the power supply voltages are decreasing and hence, the noise contributions of the secondary noise sources such as the current source transistor in the charge sensitive amplifier are increasing. This thesis presents a noise optimization methodology for the current source transistors in the charge sensitive amplifier that will complement the existing noise optimization methodology. Using IBM 130nm CMOS technology, the proposed current source transistor noise optimization methodology has been applied to design a noise optimized charge sensitive amplifier. With the low single channel power consumption in the range of a few mw, the analog front-end signal processing channel features a noise optimized charge sensitive amplifier and a first order CR-RC pulse shaper with short peaking time. The results of the pre-layout and the post-layout simulations make the design a very good candidate for the low-power system integration. Future directions for this thesis are now being considered, which include designing the additional analog-to-digital block for the signal extraction iii

5 circuitry as well as developing the complete and optimized layout for the targeted 16 analog front-end signal processing channels. Keywords: Analog front-end signal processing channel; charge sensitive amplifier (CSA); CR-RC pulse shaper; equivalent noise charge (ENC); noise optimization methodology; reset network (R f ); adaptive continuous reset; pole-zero cancellation; thermal noise; flicker noise iv

6 Acknowledgements I would like to thank my family for their support and patience. A special thanks to my girlfriend, Sophie Yue, who has prayed for me almost every day and accompanied me during my highs and lows. Thanks to our Lord, Jesus Christ, for everything. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to my senior supervisor Dr. Marek Syrzycki for giving me the opportunity to conduct research in the area of Analog IC design at SFU. Dr. Syrzycki s has provided me with the valuable guidance and advice for this work. I truly appreciate for his encouragement, patience, and constructive criticisms during these two years of my M.A.Sc. studies. Thanks also to my thesis committees, Dr. Hobson and Dr. Parameswaran, for reviewing my thesis and offering their suggestions on improvements. In addition, thanks to the chair, Dr. Beg, for holding my thesis defense. Finally, I want to express my appreciation to my colleagues in the VLSI design lab, Eddy Lin, Cheng Zhang, and Thomas Au for their timely support and strong input to my research work. I am very grateful for having this journey with you guys. v

7 Table of Contents Approval... ii Abstract... iii Acknowledgements...v Table of Contents... vi List of Tables... ix List of Figures...x List of abbreviation... xiv Chapter 1 Introduction Pixelated semiconductor radiation detector Radiation detector system Motivation Organization of Thesis...6 Chapter 2 Analog front-end signal processing channel overview Detector modeling Charge sensitive amplifier The output response of the charge sensitive amplifier Preamplifier structure Reset network implementation...12 vi

8 2.2.4 Adaptive continuous reset network Pulse shaper The peaking time and the pulse amplitude of the pulse shaper Pole-zero cancellation...17 Chapter 3 Noise optimization of the charge sensitive amplifier Noise measurement scheme - ENC Input transistor optimization methodology for the CSA with fast shaper Current source transistor noise optimization methodology for CSA...26 Chapter 4 Design of charge sensitive amplifier Preamplifier design Formulas for the mid-band gain and the frequency response of the preamplifier The geometries design for the preamplifier transistors AC simulation of the preamplifier (open-loop) The reset network and the feedback capacitor design...38 Chapter 5 Pulse shaper design The output response of the pulse shaper Passive component design for the pulse shaper Shaper amplifier design...45 Chapter 6 The simulation of the analog front-end signal processing channel...48 vii

9 6.1 The power characteristics Transient simulation The charge-to-voltage conversion rate of the analog front-end signal processing channel High counting rate simulation Noise simulation...58 Chapter 7 The layout design The detailed layout for component The post-layout simulation The post-layout transient simulation Post-layout noise simulation Performance summary...74 Chapter 8 Conclusion and future work...76 References...78 Appendix A. The test of the current source noise optimization methodology...82 viii

10 List of Tables Table 1.1 The design specification of the analog front-end signal processing channel...5 Table 3.1 Shaping coefficient for the semi-gaussian shapers of different order [4]...24 Table 4.1 MOSFET parameters of 3.3V MOSFET in IBM 130nm CMOS technology..31 Table 4.2 Calculated optimum aspect ratios and channel length for current source transistors M4 and M Table 5.1 The values of the resistors and capacitors for the shaper peaking time (τ p ) equivalent of 100ns...42 Table 6.1 Power consumption summary for single analog front-end signal processing channel...51 Table 6.2 The noise contribution from each component in the analog front-end signal processing channel...59 Table 7.1 The pre-layout and post-layout performance summaries for the analog frontend signal processing channel...74 Table 7.2 Performance comparisons between this work and other related works...74 Table 8.1 The pre-layout and post-layout performance summaries for the analog frontend signal processing channel...77 Table A.1 Theoretical and values and their simulated results for current source transistor M4 and M6 in four preamplifiers...85 ix

11 List of Figures Figure 1.1 The CZT pixelated semiconductor radiation detector [1]...1 Figure 1.2 The process to create medical nuclear images...2 Figure 1.3 Medical nuclear images of human brains [4]...2 Figure 1.4 The radiation detector system with 16 anode front-end signal processing channels...3 Figure 2.1 Analog front-end signal processing channel...7 Figure 2.2 The equivalent model of the pixelated detector...8 Figure 2.3 A current pulse which contains 10fC of input charge (Q in )...8 Figure 2.4 The output response of the charge sensitive amplifier for an input current pulse...10 Figure 2.5 Folded cascode amplifier [9]...11 Figure 2.6 Dual PMOS cascode amplifier [10]...11 Figure 2.7 The CSA reset network realized by a resistor-like MOS transistor...12 Figure 2.8 Adaptive continuous reset implemented with the CSA [11]...14 Figure 2.9 The CR-(RC) n pulse shaper diagram...16 Figure 2.10 The shift of the baseline for the shaper output pulses due to the extra pole of the reset network...17 Figure 2.11 The pole-zero cancellation circuitry implemented within the pulse shaper [15]...18 Figure 2.12 The pole-zero cancellation implemented by the transistor M pz [8]...19 Figure 3.1 The primary noise contributors of the analog frolnt-end signal processing channel...20 x

12 Figure 3.2 The ENC for the analog front-end signal processing channel...22 Figure 3.3 The input transistor of the preamplifier that adopts dual PMOS cascode amplifier structure [10]...23 Figure 3.4 The current source transistors for the preamplifier that adopts dual PMOS cascode amplifier structure [10]...26 Figure 4.1 The targeted value of the detector capacitance (C det ), the feedback capacitance (C f ), and the shaper peaking time (τ p ) for the analog front-end signal processing channel...30 Figure 4.2 The preamplifier structure...32 Figure 4.3 Major parasitic capacitances associated with poles of the frequency characteristics in the preamplifier...33 Figure 4.4 The targeted value of the biasing current and the overdrive voltages for the core amplifier...35 Figure 4.5 The preamplifier structure with transistors aspect ratios...36 Figure 4.6 The gain magnitude of the preamplifier...37 Figure 4.7 The phase of the preamplifier...37 Figure 4.8 The transistor level implementation for the capacitor...39 Figure 4.9 Adaptive continuous reset implemented with the reset network of the CSA..39 Figure 5.1 The 1 st order CR-RC pulse shaper design implemented with the analog frontend signal processing channel...40 Figure 5.2 The 1 st order CR-RC pulse shaper design using transistor implementation for passive components...43 Figure 5.3 The shaper resistor R i implementation...44 Figure 5.4 The shaper amplifier design...46 xi

13 Figure 5.5 The gain magnitude of the shaper amplifier...47 Figure 5.6 The phase of the shaper amplifier...47 Figure 6.1 The analog front-end signal processing channel integration...49 Figure 6.2 The sharing of the biasing circuits among 16 processing channels...50 Figure 6.3 The input current pulse for a radiation event with input charge Q in =10fC...52 Figure 6.4 The CSA output response for Q in = 10fC...52 Figure 6.5 The shaper output response for Q in = 10fC...53 Figure 6.6 The shaper output responses vs. the input charge...54 Figure 6.7 The shaper output amplitude vs. the input charge...54 Figure 6.8 The input current pulses with frequency of 100kHz...55 Figure 6.9 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 100kHz...56 Figure 6.10 The input current pulses with frequency of 500kHz...56 Figure 6.11 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 500kHz...57 Figure 6.12 The input current pulses with frequency of 1MHz...57 Figure 6.13 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 1MHz...58 Figure 6.14 The ENC for the designed signal processing channel vs. the detector capacitances...60 Figure 7.1 The floor plan for 16 analog front-end signal processing channels...61 Figure 7.2 The rotated layout for the single signal processing channel without the adaptive continuous reset...62 Figure 7.3 The layout division for the analog front-end signal processing channel...63 Figure 7.4 The layout for the preamplifier and the feedback capacitor...64 Figure 7.5 The layout for the biasing network of the preamplifier...64 xii

14 Figure 7.6 The layout for the reset network, the pole-zero cancellation circuitry, and the shaper capacitors...64 Figure 7.7 The layout for the shaper amplifier...65 Figure 7.8 The layout module for the biasing network of the shaper amplifier...65 Figure 7.9 The layout module for the shaper resistor...65 Figure 7.10 The layout module for the adaptive reset network...66 Figure 7.11 Input current pulse for a radiation event with input charge equal 10fC...67 Figure 7.12 The CSA output response for Q in = 10fC...67 Figure 7.13 The shaper output response for Q in = 10fC...68 Figure 7.14 The shaper output response vs. the input charge...69 Figure 7.15 The shaper output amplitude vs. the input charge...70 Figure 7.16 The shaper output response for the input pulse frequency of 100kHz...71 Figure 7.17 The shaper output response for the input pulse frequency of 333kHz...71 Figure 7.18 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 500kHz...72 Figure 7.19 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 1MHz...72 Figure 7.20 The ENC of the designed signal processing channel with the layout parasitics vs. the detector capacitance...73 Figure A.1 Four CSAs with 4 selected current source noise scaling factors...82 Figure A.2 The noise optimized current source transistor geometries for M4 and M Figure A.3 First order CR-RC pulse shaper designed in HSPICE...84 Figure A.4 Simulated ENC for four CSAs designed with current source thermal noise scaling factor = 10% and the current source flicker noise scaling factor = 10% to 40%...84 xiii

15 List of abbreviation CZT CSA ENC Cadmium zinc telluride Charge sensitive amplifier Equivalent Noise Charge The Equivalent Noise Charge contribution from the thermal noise of the input transistor in the CSA preamplifier The Equivalent Noise Charge contribution from the flicker noise of the input transistor in the CSA preamplifier The Equivalent Noise Charge contribution from the thermal noise of the current source transistor in the CSA preamplifier The Equivalent Noise Charge contribution from the flicker noise of the current source transistor in the CSA preamplifier The shot noise from the detector leakage current The noise from the resistors in the pulse shaper The noise from the reset network in the CSA The noise from the transistors in the CSA preamplifier Q in C f R f C det τ p I pulse Input charge Feedback capacitor Reset network / Feedback resistor Detector capacitance Peaking time of the pulse shaper The input current pulses that model the radiation events xiv

16 V out(csa) V out(shaper) V signal(out) V noise(out) K f C g α f The output response of the charge sensitive amplifier The output response of the pulse shaper The amplitude of the shaper output waveform The r.m.s noise voltage at the shaper output The flicker noise coefficient of the MOSFET The gate capacitance of the MOSFET The flicker noise slope coefficient of the MOSFET which is larger than 1 for PMOS and smaller than 1 for NMOS k The Boltzmann constant = m 2 kg s -2 K -1 T C ox g m ɑ w ɑ f C ov The absolute temperature The gate oxide capacitance per unit area The transconductance of the MOSFET transistor The shaping coefficients for the thermal noise The shaping coefficients for the flicker noise The overlap capacitance per channel width of the MOSFET The thermal noise scaling factor of the current source transistor The flicker noise scaling factor of the current source transistor A V R out GBW r.m.s SPECT PET The open-loop gain of the amplifier The output resistance of the amplifier The gain-bandwidth product Root mean square Single-photon emission computed tomography Positron emission tomography xv

17 Chapter 1 Introduction 1.1 Pixelated semiconductor radiation detector Over the years, the rapid improvement for the pixelated semiconductor radiation detector system such as the CdZnTe (CZT) detection system has led to an increase in the number of medical nuclear imaging applications including SPECT and PET imaging [1]. CZT is a semiconductor that can directly convert X-ray or Gamma-ray photons into electron and hole pairs in the room temperature [2]. A strong electric field (of the order of several hundreds of volts per centimeter) is applied to sweep the electrons and holes to the electrodes of cathode and pixelated anodes respectively (Figure 1.1) [1]. The sweeping of the electrons and holes induces an electrical current pulse with time duration in the order of nanoseconds [3]. By integrating the current pulse, the signal charge that is proportional to the absorbed gamma photon energy is obtained [3]. Incident gamma ray Cathode plane (-500 ~ -1000V) Strong electric field CZT detector Readout electronics Pixelated anodes (GND) Figure 1.1 The CZT pixelated semiconductor radiation detector [1] 1

18 The thickness of CZT detector varies according to the energy requirement in the application. Typical crystal thickness is in the range of a few mm for low radiation energy application and is as big as 15mm for high energy application [2]. 1.2 Radiation detector system The process of creating medical nuclear images from the radiation detector system consists of three major steps: injection of the radioactive materials, radiation detection, and computer analysis and image reconstruction, as shown in shown in Figure 1.2. The patients are first injected with the radioactive material into their bodies prior to the medical scanning. During the scanning process, the radiation detector system detects the X-ray or Gamma-ray photons from the patients bodies and generates the corresponding electrical signals [2]. A computer then processes the output electrical signals of the radiation detectors and generates the medical images similar to those shown in Figure 1.3 [4]. Injection of the radioactive material Radiation detection Computer imaging Figure 1.2 The process to create medical nuclear images Figure 1.3 Medical nuclear images of human brains [4] 2

19 The radiation detector system consists of three major blocks: pixelated semiconductor radiation detector, the analog front-end signal processing channel with the low noise characteristics, and signal extraction (Figure 1.4). The pixelated detector means that detector s anode consist of an n n array of pixels, while detector s cathode is one plate (no pixels). For example, the illustrated pixelated detector with the anode consisting of 4x4 pixel array is shown in Figure 1.4. Radiation detector system 4x4 pixelated semiconductor radiation detector Analog front-end signal processing channel (one channel per pixel) Reset Q in Preamplifier CSA Pulse Shaper Signal Extraction (One per pixel) Computer post-processing Figure 1.4 The radiation detector system with 16 anode front-end signal processing channels Each anode pixel (Figure 1.4) is an input to an individual readout electronics consisting of analog front-end signal processing channel and the signal extraction block. The radiation event creates a charge signal (Q in ) on one of detector pixels (anode). The size of the electron cloud reaching the anode is much smaller than pixel dimensions, therefore the x-y coordinates of the pixel producing the signal charge Q in are recognized as the x-y coordinates of the gamma photon radiation event. The low noise analog front-end signal processing channel consisting of a charge sensitive amplifier (CSA) and a pulse shaper produces a Gaussian-like pulse that carries the information of energy magnitude and the timing. The signal extraction block processes the Gaussian pulse generated by the analog front-end signal processing channel and quantize the pulse amplitude for measurement of 3

20 the photon energy, photon counting/integration, and the pulse peaking time for computer post-processing [5]. 1.3 Motivation The scope of this thesis encompasses a low noise analog front-end signal processing channel for radiation detector systems. The design includes a charge sensitive amplifier (CSA) and a pulse shaper. The CSA amplifies the detector charge signals to the voltage signal with a reset network and the pulse shaper filters the amplified signal before the signal extraction step. The most important figures of merit for the analog front-end signal processing channel are: 1. Equivalent noise charge (ENC) the noise figure of merit that corresponds to the noise charge of the analog front-end signal processing channel. 2. Single channel power consumption the power consumption for the analog frontend signal processing channel. 3. Input signal charge range the input charge range that the signal processing channel can process with a linear charge-to-voltage conversion gain. 4. Shaper peaking time (τ p ) corresponds to the peaking time of the shaper output pulse. In order to achieve the high detectability of the charge signals, the low noise performance corresponding to the low ENC is necessary for the radiation system. Targeting the high signal-to-noise ratio of 200:1 recommended for the CZT radiation detector system [6], the ENC is required to be less than a few hundred electrons for a typical high energy application with the signal charge of 4fC [3]: 4

21 S Q 4fC in 200 N ENC ENC ENC 0.02fC 125 electrons (1.1) In high density pixelated detectors where tens or hundreds of pixels are integrated, low single channel power consumption in the range of a few mw is required to minimize the total power consumption. In the high rate application where the interval between the radiation events is short, a short shaper peaking time (smaller than 100ns) is commonly chosen to prevent the pulse overlap [7]. The design specifications based on the low noise, low power, and short shaper peaking time requirements targeted in this research are given in Table 1.1. Table 1.1 The design specification of the analog front-end signal processing channel ENC Power per Input charge Shaper (in electrons) channel range peaking time This work <200 <6mW Up to 50fC 100ns The objectives of this thesis include: To investigate the major noise contributors in the analog front-end signal processing channel To develop a methodology that optimizes the major noise sources in the charge sensitive amplifier To design and implement the low-noise analog front-end signal processing channel with a short peaking time using the IBM 0.13μm CMOS technology The major contributions of this thesis have been the development of a methodology to optimize the primary and the secondary transistor noise sources in the charge sensitive 5

22 amplifier to enhance the overall low noise performance, and the evaluation of the performance degradation due to physical integration in the deep-submicron (DSM) CMOS technology. 1.4 Organization of Thesis This thesis is divided into following chapters: Chapter 2 will introduce each component in the analog front-end signal processing channel. Chapter 3 will discuss the noise optimization methodology developed for the charge sensitive amplifier. In Chapter 4 the design procedure of the charge sensitive amplifiers is covered. The design details of the pulse shaper are to be presented in Chapter 5. The timing and noise simulation of the designed analog front-end processing channel are presented in Chapter 6. In Chapter 7 the CMOS transistor layout for the analog front-end signal processing channel is presented with the post-layout simulation results. Chapter 8 concludes the work of this thesis and discusses the future research. 6

23 Chapter 2 Analog front-end signal processing channel architecture When a radiation event occurs, a weak charge signal (Q in ) proportional to the radiation energy is generated in the pixelated semiconductor radiation detector (Figure 2.1). This weak charge pulse is integrated onto the feedback capacitance (C f ) of the charge sensitive amplifier to create a voltage pulse with the magnitude equal to the ratio of the input charge (Q in ) to the feedback capacitance (C f ). The reset network (R f ) is used for preventing the CSA from saturation by discharging its output. The pulse shaper, which is used to improve the signal to noise ratio, takes the voltage pulse and creates a Gaussianlike pulse with peaking time equal τ p. This Gaussian-like pulse which carries the time and energy information will later be extracted in signal extraction circuitry. Figure 2.1 Analog front-end signal processing channel 7

24 2.1 Detector modeling During the radiation event, the electrons and holes are swept into the electrodes and give rise to a current pulse (I pulse ) with time duration in the order of nanoseconds, as discussed in Section 1.1 [3]. The equivalent detector circuit is shown in Figure 2.2 where the semiconductor detector pixel is modeled as a capacitor (C det ) in parallel with the current pulse (I pulse ) [3]. Radiation event Detector I pulse C det Figure 2.2 The equivalent model of the pixelated detector The accumulated charge (Q in ) that is proportional to the absorbed gamma photon energy is equivalent of the integration for one current pulse (I pulse ) [3]. An example for one radiation event equivalent to the charge of 10fC is shown in Figure ns 1μA I pulse Figure 2.3 A current pulse which contains 10fC of input charge (Q in ) 2.2 Charge sensitive amplifier Charge sensitive amplifiers (CSA) are essential components in the analog front-end signal processing channel (Figure 2.1). The charge sensitive amplifier includes a preamplifier, feedback capacitor (C f ), and the reset network (R f ). A CSA senses the 8

25 electric charge collected in the pixelated semiconductor detector (C det ) and converts its charge into analog voltage domain signal through feedback capacitor (C f ). As a result of a series of charge pulses reaching the CSA input, the total charge accumulated by the feedback capacitor (C f ) may lead to the amplifier saturation. In order to discharge the accumulated charge, a straightforward solution is to use a feedback resistor (R f ) parallel to the feedback capacitor (C f ) [8] The output response of the charge sensitive amplifier The CSA output response to an input current pulse carrying charge Q in is in the complex frequency domain equal [8]: () R f Vout ( CSA) s Qin 1 sr C f f (2.1) By using the inverse Laplace transform of the function we can derive the CSA output response to an input charge in the time domain [8]: () Qin f Vout ( CSA) t e C f t (2.2) where τ f is the discharging time of the CSA output and is equal to the product of C f and R f. The charge-to-voltage conversion gain is equal to the inverse value of the feedback capacitor (C f ). As illustrated in Figure 2.4, for a CSA with feedback capacitance (C f ) equal 100fF, feedback resistor (R f ) equal 50MΩ, and the input charge (Q in ) equivalent of 10fC, the CSA output response is a voltage pulse with the amplitude equivalent of 9

26 100mV and the discharging time for 5μs. The charge-to-voltage gain of the CSA is equal to 10mV/fC. Figure 2.4 The output response of the charge sensitive amplifier for an input current pulse Preamplifier structure The major design requirements for the preamplifier are the low noise performance and the high mid-band gain. Since the noise of the preamplifier is usually dominated by its input transistor, the task of the noise optimization is focused on the input transistor design. In CMOS technology, there are P-type and N-type MOS transistors available. P- type MOS transistor is characterized by a lower flicker noise than its NMOS counterpart. Thus, PMOS input transistor is usually chosen for the preamplifier to achieve the better noise performance. In order to create the high mid-band gain, two amplifier structure are usually considered: folded cascode amplifier structure (Figure 2.5) and dual PMOS cascode amplifier structure (Figure 2.6). 10

27 V DD I d1 =I d4 -I d6 I d6 M6 V b6 In M1 Out M5 V b5 M3 V b3 V b2 M2 V b4 M4 I d4 Figure 2.5 Folded cascode amplifier [9] V DD In M1 I d1 =I d4 +I d6 Dual PMOS V b2 M2 M3 V b3 V b4 M4 Out M5 V b5 I d4 I d6 M6 V b6 Figure 2.6 Dual PMOS cascode amplifier [10] The bias currents of the input transistor M1 and the current source transistors M4 and M6 for the two amplifier structures are given as: 11

28 I I - I for folded cascode structure (2.3) d1 d 4 d 6 Id1 Id 4 Id 6 for dual PMOS cascode structure (2.4) Based on the comparison between Eq.(2.3) and Eq.(2.4), the bias current of the input transistor (I d1 ) is bigger in the dual PMOS cascode amplifier structure given that both amplifier consume the same amount of power. Therefore, the dual PMOS cascode amplifier structure has the advantage of maximizing the transconductance (g m ) of the input transistor to achieve the higher mid-band gain Reset network implementation In order to meet the low noise performance required for the front-end detection channel, the feedback resistance (R f ) needs to be set in the Mega or Giga ohm range depending on the amount of detector leakage current [5]. However, such high resistance is hard to realize in the CMOS technology. Therefore, most CSA designers have used the MOSFET transistor (M f ) to create the high value reset resistance [11] (Figure 2.7). V G M f C f I pulse Q in C det Preamplifier V out(csa) To Shaper Figure 2.7 The CSA reset network realized by a resistor-like MOS transistor The feedback resistance R f seen between the drain and the source terminal of the MOS transistor working in the linear region is calculated as [11]: 12

29 R f 1 (2.5) C ( W / L )( V V ) ox f f GS ( f ) T ( f ) where μ is the mobility of the charge carriers in MOS transistors, C ox is the oxide capacitance, (W f /L f ) is the aspect ratio of the feedback transistor, V GS(f) is the gate-tosource voltage, and the V T(f) is the threshold voltage. To achieve a high value resistance, the MOS transistor usually has long channel length and short channel width to minimize the (W/L) ratio in Eq.(2.5) Adaptive continuous reset network The feedback resistance formula shown in Eq.(2.5) depends on the gate-to-source voltage V GS(f) and threshold voltage (V T(f) ). These two voltage terms of the MOS transistors may differ from chip to chip due to the process variations. In order to compensate the process variation, the adaptive continuous reset network has been proposed [11]. An example implementation of the adaptive continuous reset network is shown in Figure 4.9 where the preamplifier adopts the dual PMOS cascode amplifier structure. The level shifter is usually implemented at the output of the amplifier in order to restore the DC potential of the CSA output (V out(csa) ) to be equal to the CSA input (V in(csa) ): V V (2.6) out ( CSA) in( CSA) The aspect ratio for the transistor M f0 is the multiple of that for the feedback transistor M f by the factor of n. Since the transistor M1 R is the exact copy of the input transistor M1 and since they are also biased with the same amount of current, their gate-to-source voltage should be closely matched and hence, the source voltage of the transistor M f0 and that of the transistor M f are the same: 13

30 V in( CSA) 1R V (2.7) Adaptive continuous reset C det Q in V in(csa) M1 I d1 M1 R =M1 V b2 M2 V 1R V b4 M4 M3 M5 V b3 V b5 Level shifter V out(csa) M f0 =(M f ) n M6 V b6 I d1r = I d1 I f C f M f Figure 2.8 Adaptive continuous reset implemented with the CSA [11] From Eq.(2.5) and Eq.(2.6), the gate-to-source voltages of the feedback transistor M f and the transistor M f0 are equal: V V (2.8) GS ( f ) GS ( f 0) Given that the threshold voltage for the feedback transistor M f and the transistor M f0 are closely matched, Eq.(2.8) is rearranged to be equivalent of the overdrive voltage (V ov ) for the transistor M f0 [11]: V V V V GS ( f ) T ( f ) GS ( f 0) T ( f 0) V ov( f 0) 2I f 2I f C ( W / L ) C n( W / L ) ox f 0 f 0 ox f f (2.9) 14

31 Substituting Eq.(2.9) to Eq.(2.5), a new expression for the feedback resistance (R f ) that is independent of the gate-to-source voltage V GS(f) and the threshold voltage (V T(f) ) for the feedback transistor M f is derived [11]: R f 1 C ( W / L )( V V ) ox f f GS ( f ) T ( f ) n 2 I C ( W / L ) f ox f f (2.10) 2.3 Pulse shaper The pulse shaper takes the output of the CSA and transforms the narrow current pulse from the detector (Figure 2.3) into a broader pulse with the peaking time equal τ p (Figure 2.9), aiming to achieve two advantages [3]: The broader pulse generated by the pulse shaper improves the signal-to-noise ratio of the analog front-end processing channel The broader pulse facilitates the measurement of the pulse amplitude (V signal(out) ) with a gradually rounded maximum at the peaking time equal τ p. The pulse shaper consists of two stages: 1 st stage CR differentiator and 2 nd stage RC integrator (Figure 2.9). As the voltage pulse corresponding to a radiation event is generated at the output of the CSA, a Gaussian-like pulse (V out(shaper) ) carrying the timing and energy information is formed at the shaper output. More than one RC integrator is adopted if the more symmetrical pulse is desired for certain applications [3]. 15

32 1 st Stage: CR-Differentiator 2 nd Stage: RC-Integrator (n integrators) V out(csa) C d R i R i R i Vout(Shaper) R d C i C i C i From the charge sensitive amplifier 1 st 2 nd n th V out(csa) τ f Design condition: R d C d = R i C i V out(shaper) = Q in /C f τ p Q n n in V signal(out) = C n f n!e Time Time Figure 2.9 The CR-(RC) n pulse shaper diagram The peaking time and the pulse amplitude of the pulse shaper The transfer function of the shaper is given as [12]: Hs () V () s s 1 V ( s) 1s 1s n out( Shaper ) out( CSA) (2.11) where n is the number of the integrators that corresponds to the order of the shaper and τ is the time constant of the differentiator and integrator given as: R C RC (2.12) d d i i The peaking time of the pulse (Figure 2.9), τ p, is related to the time constant: p n nrc (2.13) The amplitude of the shaper output pulse (V signal(out) ) is given as [13]: V signal ( out ) n Qin n n C n! e (2.14) f 16

33 Increasing the order of the shaper will result in a more symmetrical output pulse but with larger peaking time (τ p ). For a high counting rate radiation detector system where the interval between the times of arrival for the two continuous input current pulses (I pulse ) can be short, the peaking time (τ p ) must be limited to avoid overlapping the pulses. Therefore, a fast shaper (peaking time (τ p ) < 100ns) is usually adopted for the high rate application. The important design requirements of the pulse shaper include: Low power consumption compared to the CSA Low noise performance Smaller layout area Pole-zero cancellation As shown in Eq.(2.1), the reset network that is used for discharging the CSA output generates an extra pole, equivalent of the product of the feedback capacitor (C f ) and feedback resistor (R f ). This extra pole from the reset network causes a shift on the baseline of the shaper output pulse that may lead to the loss of resolution [14] (Figure 2.10). V out(shaper) Loss in resolution Shift in baseline Time Figure 2.10 The shift of the baseline for the shaper output pulses due to the extra pole of the reset network 17

34 In order to stabilize the baseline for the shaper pulse, the pole-zero cancellation circuitry is implemented within the pulse shaper [14] (Figure 2.11). The idea of the pole-zero cancellation is to implement an extra zero in the CR-Differentiator stage by adding a resistor (R pz ) in parallel with the capacitor (C d ) such that it will nullify the reset network pole [14]: R C R C (2.15) f f pz d Extra pole Reset (R f) C f 1 st Stage: CR-Differentiator Pole-zero cancellation R pz 2 nd Stage: RC-Integrator (n integrators) I pulse Q in C det Preamplifier V out(csa) C d R d R i C i R i C i R i C i V out(shaper) 1 st 2 nd n th I pulse V out(shaper) Time Time Figure 2.11 The pole-zero cancellation circuitry implemented within the pulse shaper [15] In order to fulfill Eq.(2.14), the pole-zero cancellation resistor R pz can be implemented by the transistor M pz (Figure 2.12) such that its aspect ratio and the value of the capacitor (C d ) are related to the aspect ratio of the feedback transistor (M f ) and the value of the feedback capacitor (C f ) by [5] : W W N L L pz f (2.16) 18

35 C N C (2.17) d f where N is an integer with its value greater than one. Adaptive continuous reset 1 st Stage: CR-Differentiator 2 nd Stage: RC-Integrator (n integrators) M f C f Pole-zero cancellation I pulse Q in C det Preamplifier V out(csa) M pz= NxM f R i C d = NxC f R d C i R i C i R i C i V out(shaper) 1 st 2 nd n th Figure 2.12 The pole-zero cancellation implemented by the transistor M pz [8] 19

36 Chapter 3 amplifier Noise optimization of the charge sensitive Low-noise behavior is necessary for the analog front-end signal processing channel, in order for the radiation detector to achieve high resolution detectability, and hence minimizing the dosage of the radioactive exposure to the patients. The noise sources in the analog front-end signal processing channel include the transistors of the preamplifier, the detector leakage current, the reset network, and the resistors in the shaper ( ) (Figure 3.1). Figure 3.1 The primary noise contributors of the analog frolnt-end signal processing channel In order to minimize the total noise of the analog front-end signal processing channel, these mentioned major noise contributors have to be optimized. However, the noise contribution from the detector leakage current and the shaper resistor ( ) are fixed by the type of the detector used and the required peaking time (τ p ) 20

37 of the target application. Therefore, more works are focused on optimizing the other two major noise sources: the transistors in the preamplifier and the reset network. The existing input transistor optimization methodology for the charge sensitive amplifier will be discussed. In addition, our proposed current source transistor optimization methodology that compliments the input transistor optimization methodology will be presented. 3.1 Noise measurement scheme - ENC The noise of the front-end signal processing channel is usually expressed in the form of Equivalent Noise Charge (ENC). Equivalent noise charge is defined as the input noise charge of the front-end signal processing channel [3]. ENC Q noise (3.1) The noise simulation in HSPICE is able to find the r.m.s noise voltage at the shaper output (V noise(rms) ) (Figure 3.2). In order to calculate the ENC using HSPICE simulation, Eq.(3.1) needs to be rearranged to include the r.m.s noise voltage (V noise(rms) ). The rearrangement is done by first considering the S/N ratio of the analog front-end signal processing channel: S V Q Q N V Q ENC signal ( out) in in (3.2) noise( rms) noise where V signal(out) is the peak signal amplitude at the shaper output and Q in is the input signal charge (Figure 3.2). 21

38 Figure 3.2 The ENC for the analog front-end signal processing channel Rearranging Eq.(3.1) with Eq.(3.2), the ENC measurement scheme for the analog frontend signal processing channel can be derived as follows [16]. ENC V Q noise( rms) in Q noise [electrons] V signal ( out ) q (3.3) For example, for an input charge signal Q in = 10.2fC, V signal(out) = 36mV, and V noise(rms) = 33μV, ENC is equal to: 33μV 10.2fC ENC 58 [r.m.s electrons] 19 33mV C (3.4) 3.2 Input transistor optimization methodology for the CSA with fast shaper The goal of input transistor optimization methodology is to find the optimum geometry of the input MOSFET for the preamplifier (Figure 3.3) which results in the lowest noise contribution for the analog front-end signal processing channel. This methodology is 22

39 based on the assumption that the input MOSFET noise is the most dominant noise source in the preamplifier of the CSA. Reset(R f ) C f Q in I pulse C det Preamplifier Pulse Shaper H(s), τ In M1 Input Transistor I d(in) V b2 M2 V b4 M4 M3 M5 V b3 V b5 Out M6 V b6 Figure 3.3 The input transistor of the preamplifier that adopts dual PMOS cascode amplifier structure [10] The noise components within the input MOSFET are thermal noise and flicker (also called 1/f) noise and their respective ENC contributions for the analog front-end signal processing channel is represented by [5]: Thermal noise : ENC 2 2 ( Cdet C f Cg) 4kT in( th) a 2 wn q gm p (3.5) Flicker noise : ENC 2 f 2 ( Cdet C f Cg ) K f (2 ) in(1/ f ) a 2 f 1 f q CoxWL p (3.6) where: - n is the sub-threshold slope coefficient of the MOSFET with a typical value of

40 - γ is a dimensionless coefficient of the MOSFET that is equal to (1/2) in weak inversion and (2/3) in strong inversion - α f is the flicker noise slope coefficient of the MOSFET which is larger than 1 for PMOS and smaller than 1 for NMOS - k is the Boltzmann constant - T is the absolute temperature - C ox is gate oxide capacitance per unit area - K f is the technology dependent flicker noise coefficient of the MOSFET - g m is the transconductance of the MOSFET transistor - ɑ w and ɑ f, are the shaping coefficients for the thermal noise and flicker noise respectively. Their values corresponding to the shaper order are presented in Table 3.1. Table 3.1 Shaping coefficient for the semi-gaussian shapers of different order [5] Shaper order ɑ w ɑ f The gate capacitance of input MOSFET (C g ) is approximated by Eq.(3.7) [17]: 2 Cg 2CovW CoxWL (3.7) 3 24

41 where C ov is overlap capacitance per unit width for drain and source. For a charge sensitive amplifier followed by a fast shaper (shaping time τ p usually smaller than 100ns) and due to the fact that the input transistor is usually p-mos, in which the flicker noise component is much smaller than in an equivalent n-mos, thermal noise contribution will dominate over the flicker noise contribution for the input transistor [17]: ENC ENC (3.8) 2 2 in( th) in(1/ f ) Hence, the total noise contribution from input transistor ( can be simplified as equal to the thermal noise of the input transistor : ENC ENC ENC ENC (3.9) in in( th) in(1/ f ) in( th) The optimum input transistor geometry that corresponds to the minimum input transistor noise ( ) can be derived by differentiating its thermal noise contribution ( ) with respect to the input transistor channel width (W) [17]: 2 ENCin ( th) Cdet C f 0 W W 6C 2C L ov ox min (3.10) Note that the minimal channel length L min must be used in Eq.(3.10) also for the purpose of minimizing the input transistor thermal noise contribution ) in Eq.(3.5) by maximizing its transconductance (g m ) [13]. Once the optimized input transistor geometry is derived from Eq.(3.10), the corresponding bias current of the input transistor (I (in) ) is determined by defining the value of its overdrive voltage (V ov ): V ov 2I ( in) (3.11) C ( W / L) ox 25

42 By rearranging Eq.(3.11), the bias current of the input transistor (I (in) ) is related to its overdrive voltage (V ov ) by: I ( in) CW ox 2 Vov (3.12) 2L 3.3 Current source transistor noise optimization methodology for CSA The input transistor has been usually seen as the most dominant noise source in the preamplifier of the CSA, and the methodology to optimize its geometry for minimum noise has been well established [13]. This methodology treats the noise coming from the current source transistors (Figure 3.4) that bias the CSA input stage as secondary. However, in a deep submicron CMOS processes that use low supply voltages, the noise coming from other CSA components, especially from current source transistors, becomes significant [18], and in extreme cases may dominate CSA noise characteristics. In order to optimize the current source transistor noise, the noise optimization methodology that ensures its noise contribution to be a small fraction of the input transistor noise is proposed. In M1 input transistor Vb2 M2 M3 Vb3 Vb4 M4 Out M5 Vb5 Current source transistor M6 Vb6 Current source transistor Figure 3.4 The current source transistors for the preamplifier that adopts dual PMOS cascode amplifier structure [10] 26

43 The proposed current source MOSFET optimization methodology aims to find the optimum current source transistor aspect ratios such that their noise contribution becomes a small fraction of the input transistor MOSFET noise contribution. The ENC contributions for the thermal and flicker noise of the current source transistor noise are [9]: ENC ( C C C ) 8 g 2 2 det f g kt m( cs) cs( th) a 2 wn q 3gm( in) p gm( in) (3.13) ENC a ( C C C ) K (2 ) f g 2 ( cs ) 2 f det f g f ( cs) m( cs) cs(1/ f ) 2 1 f ( cs ) q Cox W( cs) L( cs) g p m( in) 2 (3.14) where the subscript (in) corresponds to the parameters for input transistor and the subscript (cs) corresponds to those for current source transistor. In order to optimize the current source transistor noise such that its noise contribution is a small fraction of the input transistor noise, the current source noise scaling factor is defined as the ratio of the current source transistor noise to the input transistor noise: th ENC (3.15) ENC 2 cs( th) 2 in( th) ENC (3.16) 2 cs(1/ f ) 1/ f 2 ENCin ( th) where the thermal noise of the input transistor ( ) is chosen as the common denominator for approximating the total input transistor noise ( ) in the case of short shaper peaking time. is the thermal noise scaling factor and is the flicker 27

44 noise scaling factor for the current source transistor. The current source transistor optimization aims to make a current source noise contribution as small as possible fraction of the input transistor noise, i.e. th 1 and 1 (3.17) 1/ f Rearranging Eq.(3.15) and Eq.(3.16) by using Eqs.(3.5), (3.13), and (3.14), and assume that the input transistor operates in strong inversion, the formulas for the noise-optimized geometry of the current source transistors have been derived: W W I (3.18) L L I ( cs) 2 ( in) ( in) d ( in) th ( cs) ( cs) ( in) d ( cs) L ( cs) a 3K I L 1 f f ( cs) ( cs) d ( cs) ( in) (2 ) 1/ f aw 4kT 2( in) CoxW( in) Id ( in) f ( CS ) f ( CS ) (3.19) The following steps show how to apply the current source optimization methodology in the CSA designs: 1. Based on the defined value of the detector capacitance (C det ) and feedback capacitance (C f ), apply the input transistor optimization methodology using Eq.(3.10) to find out the optimal input transistor geometry. 2. Determine the input transistor biasing current (I d(in) ) with Eq.(3.12) by defining its targeted overdrive voltage (V ov ). 3. Determine the current source transistor biasing current (I d(cs) ) by the requirement of the open-loop gain for the preamplifier. 4. Choose the target values for and less than 1. 28

45 5. Substitute the values for,, and the bias currents into Eq.(3.18) and Eq.(3.19) to calculate the corresponding noise optimized current source transistor geometry. 29

46 Chapter 4 Design of charge sensitive amplifier In this chapter the design procedure of the charge sensitive amplifier (CSA) is presented. The major components in the charge sensitive amplifier are the preamplifier and the reset network (Figure 4.1). The targeted low capacitance semiconductor detector (C det ) has been 1pF with the feedback capacitance (C f ) equivalent of 100fF. In order to process high counting rate event, the short peaking time (τ p ) equal 100ns has been chosen for a first order CR-RC pulse shaper. CSA Reset (R f ) C f 100fF Q in V out(csa) CR-RC Shaper V out(shaper) Preamplifier τ p = 100ns I pulse C det 1pF Figure 4.1 The targeted value of the detector capacitance (C det ), the feedback capacitance (C f ), and the shaper peaking time (τ p ) for the analog front-end signal processing channel The analog front-end signal processing channel has been designed using the 3.3V MOS transistors provided in the IBM CMOS 130nm technology. The minimum channel length of the 3.3V MOS transistors is 400nm. The technology parameters derived from the HSPICE simulation are summarized in Table

47 Table 4.1 MOSFET parameters of 3.3V MOSFET in IBM 130nm CMOS technology Parameters Specification Process transconductance parameter of PMOS (K p =μ p C ox ) 75 μa/v 2 Process transconductance parameter of NMOS (K n =μ n C ox ) 268 μa/v 2 Gate capacitance per unit area (C ox ) 3.75 ff/μm 2 Overlap capacitance (C ov ) 0.4 ff/μm Flicker noise coefficient K f(nmos) (L=0.4μm) Flicker noise coefficient K f(pmos) (L=0.4μm) Flicker noise slope coefficient α f(nmos) 0.87 Flicker noise slope coefficient α f(pmos) Preamplifier design The preamplifier consists of the core amplifier and the level shifter (Figure 4.2). The core amplifier adopts the dual PMOS cascode structure for its advantage in higher transconductance (g m ) and lower input transistor flicker noise. The level shifter implemented by the PMOS source follower configuration is used for restoring the DC potential at the output of the amplifier and decreasing the output impedance when driving the next stage[19]. The mid-band gain of the level shifter is approximately equal to unity. The biasing work has been implemented with an ideal current source (I bias ) to bias six transistors (M2 to M7) in the preamplifier. The power supply voltage (V DD ) for the analog front-end signal processing channel has been 3.3V. 31

48 Biasing network for the preampifier V DD V DD V DD V DD V DD M16 V b3 M12 V b2 M9 V b7 M14 M10 I bias M18 V b4 V b6 V b5 M17 M13 M11 M15 M19 V b2 V b3 V b4 V b5 V b6 V b7 Preamplifier Core amplifier Level shifter V DD V DD V in(csa) M1 I d1 V b7 M7 V b2 M2 V b4 M4 V out(core) M3 M5 V b3 V b5 V out(csa) I d4 I d6 M6 V b6 M8 I d8 Figure 4.2 The preamplifier structure Formulas for the mid-band gain and the frequency response of the preamplifier By approximating mid-band gain of level shifter equivalent of one, the mid-band gain of the preamplifier is mostly contributed by the gain of the core amplifier: A g R v m1 out (4.1) where the output resistance (R out ) is equal: 32

49 R out g g g g g g m5 m3 (4.2) ds5 ds6 ds3 ds4 In order to achieve high mid-band gain of the preamplifier, the transconductance of the input transistor (g m1 ) has to be maximized based on Eq.(4.1) and the bias current of its folded output branch (I d6 ) has to be made small to result in the high output resistance (R out ). As far as the frequency response is concerned, there are two poles in the preamplifier: One is the non-dominant pole (p1) and the other one is the dominant pole (p2). These two poles are associated with the nodes (A and V out(core) ) of the preamplifier shown in Figure 4.3. V DD V DD V in(csa) M1 V b7 M7 V b2 M2 C 1 V b4 M4 A M3 V out(core) C 2 M5 V b3 V b5 V out(csa) M6 V b6 M8 Figure 4.3 Major parasitic capacitances associated with poles of the frequency characteristics in the preamplifier These two poles are given as [9]: 1 p1 2 RC 1 1 (4.3) 1 p2 (4.4) R C 2 out 2 33

50 where: 1 R1 (4.5) g m4 C C C C C C C 1 gd 2 gs3 gd 4 bd 2 bd 3 bd 4 (4.6) C C C C C C C (4.7) 2 gd 3 gd 5 gs8 gd 8 bd 3 bd 5 In order to prevent the non-dominant pole (p1) from affecting the circuit performance, the areas of M2, M3, and M4 transistors have to be kept small in order to minimize their contributions to the capacitance C1. The gain-bandwidth product (GBW) is given as: GBW A p g m1 v 2 (4.8) 2C The geometries design for the preamplifier transistors With the detector capacitance and feedback capacitance defined in Figure 4.1, the input transistor noise optimization methodology from Eq.(3.10) has been applied to calculate the optimal input transistor M1 aspect ratio for the minimum channel length of 0.4μm: W L 1 200μm 0.4μm (4.9) The overdrive voltage (V ov ) for the input transistor in the preamplifier is defined for the corresponding output voltage swing of the core amplifier within 0.5 to 2.8V (Figure 4.4). 34

51 V DD I d1 (800μA) V in(csa) M1 V ov1 =0.2V Output range = 0.5V ~ 2.8V V b2 M2 V ov2 + V ov3 = 0.3V M3 V b3 I d4 (720μA) V b4 M4 V ov5 +V ov6 =0.5V M5 M6 V out(core) V b5 V b6 I d4 (80μA) Figure 4.4 The targeted value of the biasing current and the overdrive voltages for the core amplifier From Eq.(3.12), the bias current for the input transistor M1 (I d1 ) is approximately 800μA corresponding to its overdrive voltage (V ov1 ) of 0.2V. In order to achieve the high midband gain for the core amplifier, the bias current of its output branch (I d6 ) has to be made small to result in the high output resistance (R out ). The bias current (I d6 ) of 80μA has been chosen for the output branch (Figure 4.4). The current source transistor noise optimization methodology has been applied to find the optimal geometry of the current source transistors M4 and M6. The details of this optimization process are shown in the Appendix A. The targeted current source thermal noise scaling factor ( chosen as 10% and the current source flicker noise scaling factor ( has been as 10%. The noise optimized geometries of the current source transistors M4 and M6 have been calculated from Eq.(3.18) and Eq.(3.19) and are presented in Table 4.2. Table 4.2 Calculated optimum aspect ratios and channel length for current source transistors M4 and M6 Noise scaling factor M4 M6 (μm/μm) (μm/μm) (W/L) L (W/L) L 10% 10%

52 The rest of the transistors in the core amplifier (transistors M2, M3, and M5) have been designed based on the output swing range and their biasing currents specified in Figure 4.4. The biasing network for the preamplifier uses ideal current source of 200μA that in a final version may be tunable to achieve a uniform performance between individual chips. The level shifter has been implemented with the help of the HSPICE simulator in order to restore the output DC potential of the core amplifier (V out(core) = 2V from simulation) to the input DC potential (V in(csa) = 2.75V from simulation). The preamplifier structure with all the transistors aspect ratio and their biasing currents is shown in Figure 4.5. Biasing network for preamplifier V DD V DD V DD V DD V DD M16 4/2 n=8 V b3 207μA M /1 n=10 V b2 211μA M9 n=12 V b7 200μA n=12 M14 202μA 5/1 M10 n=9 M18 V b4 5/4 n=4 331μA M17 n=17 M13 n=17 V b6 M11 n=17 M15 V b5 7.7/1 n=1 5/4 M19 n=4 V b2 V b3 V b4 V b5 V b6 V b7 Preamplifier V DD V DD V in(csa) V b2 5/0.4 M1 n=50 5/0.4 M2 n=50 800μA V b7 M7 3.5/0.4 n=1 V b4 M4 5.5/6 n=2 5/0.4 n=8 6/0.4 n=1 M3 M5 V b3 V b5 V out(csa) 100μA 720μA 80μA 6.8/2 n=5 M6 V b6 6.8/0.4 M8 n=5 Figure 4.5 The preamplifier structure with transistors aspect ratios 36

53 Phase (deg) Gain (db) AC simulation of the preamplifier (open-loop) The AC simulation has been done in HSPICE within the frequency range from 1Hz to 10GHz. The open-loop simulations for the gain magnitude and phase are presented in Figure 4.6 and Figure 4.7. The preamplifier s mid-band gain has been 78dB, and its gainbandwidth product (GBW) has been 1.72GHz E+0 1E+1 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E+6 1E+7 1E+8 1E+9 1E+10 Frequency (Hz) Figure 4.6 The gain magnitude of the preamplifier E+0 1E+1 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E+6 Frequency (Hz) 1E+7 1E+8 1E+9 1E+10 Figure 4.7 The phase of the preamplifier 37

54 4.2 The reset network and the feedback capacitor design For the purpose of meeting the low noise performance, the resistance value of the reset network (R f ) needs to be set in the Mega or Giga ohm range [5]. Such a big resistance value is hard to realize in the submicron CMOS technology. Thus, this high feedback resistance is usually achieved by the MOSFET transistors that behave as the resistors (Figure 4.9). Additionally, the adaptive continuous reset system (Figure 4.9) is implemented to compensate the process variations [11]. The geometry of the feedback transistor M f has been: (W/L) f = 0.5μm/50μm. The transistor M1 R is the copy of the input transistor M1 and is biased by the same amount of current. In order to create the high feedback resistance, the aspect ratio for the transistor M f0 has been designed to be 420 times of that for the feedback transistor M f : W W 420 L L f 0 f 210μm 50μm (4.10) The ideal current source (I f ) that biases the transistor M f0 is 1μA and the feedback resistance R f has been approximated by Eq.(2.12): R f n 2 I C ( W / L ) f ox f f μA 75 μa/v (0.5μm / 5μm) 16MΩ (4.11) The feedback capacitor (C f ) has been designed using a PMOS transistor by which the source, the drain, and the body terminals are connected together (Figure 4.8). 38

55 Figure 4.8 The transistor level implementation for the capacitor The geometry of the transistor that behaves like capacitor has been designed (Figure 4.9) to generate the feedback capacitance (C f ) of 100fF approximated by Eq.(3.7): 2 C f 2CovW CoxWL (fF/μm) 18μm 3.75(fF/μm)(18μm)(2μm) 3 100fF (4.12) Biasing network M16 4/2 n=8 V b3 M /1 n=10 V b2 M9 n=12 V b7 n=12 M14 5/1 M10 n=9 200μA V b4 5/4 M18 n=4 M17 n=17 M13 n=17 V b6 M11 n=17 V b5 M15 7.7/1 n=1 5/4 M19 n=4 V b2 V b3 V b4 V b5 V b6 V b7 Adaptive continuous reset Preamplifier M1R 5/0.4 n=50 C det (1pF) Q in V b2 5/0.4 M1 n=40 5/0.4 M2 n=40 I 1 (800μA) V b7 M7 3.5/0.4 n=1 I d1r (801μA) I f (1μA) Mf0 3/50 n=70 V b4 M4 5.5/6 n=2 5/0.4 n=8 M3 6/0.4 M5 n=1 6.8/2 n=5 M6 V b3 V b5 V b6 6.8/0.4 M8 n=5 V out(csa) To shaper C f (100fF) 6/2 n=3 Mf 0.5/50 Figure 4.9 Adaptive continuous reset implemented with the reset network of the CSA 39

56 Chapter 5 Pulse shaper design In the high-counting rate application in the range of hundreds of KHz, the time of arrival between the two adjacent radiation events can be short. In order to minimize the possibility of pulse overlapping at the shaper output, a fast shaper (with short peaking time) is required. In this thesis, a simple first order CR-RC pulse shaper structure with peaking time (τ p ) equal 100ns has been designed (Figure 5.1). It has been integrated with the pole-zero cancellation circuitry to stabilize the baseline. 1 st order CR-RC pulse shaper C i Reset (R f ) C f Pole-zero cancellation R i R pz I pulse Q in C det Preamplifier V out(csa) C d -A Shaper amplifier R i C i V out(shaper) Figure 5.1 The 1 st order CR-RC pulse shaper design implemented with the analog front-end signal processing channel 5.1 The output response of the pulse shaper The transfer function of the 1 st order CR-RC pulse shaper (Figure 5.1) is given as: Vout ( Shaper )( s) 1 srpzcd Ri (5.1) 2 V ( s) R (1 sr C ) out ( CSA) pz i i 40

57 The CSA output response (V out(csa) (s)) given in Eq.(2.1) is substituted into Eq.(5.1) to derive the shaper output response: 1 sr C R V ( s) V ( s) pz d i out( shaper) 2 out( CSA) Rpz (1 srici ) 1 sr C R R Q R sr C sr C pz d i f 2 in pz (1 i i ) 1 f f (5.2) In order to eliminate the extra pole generated by the reset network, the pole-zero cancellation circuitry composed of the resistor (R pz ) and the capacitor (C d ) is characterized as [14]: R C R C pz d f f (5.3) The equation Eq.(5.1) is used to simplify Eq.(5.2) by canceling the pole of the reset network: R R V () s Q R sr C f i out( Shaper) in 2 pz (1 i i ) C Ri (1 sr C ) d Qin C f i i Q sc sr C (1 sr C ) in i d f i i 2 2 (5.4) The first term in Eq.(5.2) is the CSA output step response to an input charge of Q in. The second term is the typical transfer function of the 1 st order CR-RC pulse shaper: H s () 1 st order shaper s p (1 s ) p 2 (5.5) 41

58 where the peaking time τ p is equivalent of: RC RC (5.6) p i i i d Based on Eq.(5.6), the values of the capacitors (C i and C d ) and resistors (R i ) for the pulse shaper have been specified to generate the peaking time (τ p ) equivalent of 100ns (Table 5.1). Table 5.1 The values of the resistors and capacitors for the shaper peaking time (τ p ) equivalent of 100ns Parameters R i C i C d Value 50kΩ 2pF 2pF 5.2 Passive component design for the pulse shaper The transistor level implementation for the shaper capacitors C d and C i (Table 5.1) is similar with the design for the feedback capacitor (C f ) in the CSA. They are designed by using the PMOS transistor such that its drain, body, and source terminals are shorted together (Figure 4.8). In order to create the 2pF capacitor, Eq.(3.7) is used to approximate the corresponding transistor geometry: (W/L) = (350 μm/2 μm) such that 2 Cd Ci 2CovW CoxWL (fF/μm) 350μm 3.75(fF/μm)(350μm)(2μm) 3 2pF (5.7) The calculated geometries for the capacitor C d and C i from Eq.(5.7) are tested in HSPICE for adjustment. Their geometries after the adjustment are shown in Figure 5.2 for 42

59 capacitors marked as C d, C i and C i2. Since the value for the capacitor (C d ) is specified to be 20 times of the value for the feedback capacitor (C f ), the aspect ratio for the transistor (M pz ) needs to be 20 times of that for the feedback transistor (M f ), for properly canceling the pole of the reset network (Eq.(2.18) and Eq.(2.19)): W W 20 L L pz f 0.5μm 10μm 20 50μm 50μm (5.8) Adaptive continuous reset M f 0.5/50 Pole-zero cancellation C i n=70 I pulse Q in C det (1pF) C f 6/2 n=3 2.5/50 n=4 M pz R i (50KΩ) Preamplifier -A V out(csa) 6/2 n=80 C d Shaper amplifier R i2 (50KΩ) C i2 n=35 V out(shaper) Figure 5.2 The 1 st order CR-RC pulse shaper design using transistor implementation for passive components The resistor (R i ) that defines the shaping time of the pulse shaper adopts the structure shown in Figure 5.3. The parallel transistors M42 and M43 are operating in the linear region in order to model the resistor behavior. As discussed in [20], this structure has the advantage in more stable resistance by minimizing the second order effects of the drainto-source current. Transistors M39, M41, and M44 with the same aspect ratios form the current mirror network that will bias transistor M38 and M40 with an ideal current source (I Ri ). Transistor M38 and M40 with the same aspect ratio generate the same gate-tosource voltage V C : 43

60 V C V GS 38 2I Ri C ( W / L) ox 38 T 38 2I Ri V V C ( W / L) ox 40 V T 40 GS 40 (5.9) where V T38 and V T40 are the threshold voltage of the transistor M38 and M40 respectively. The parallel transistors M42 and M43 having the same aspect ratios generates the resistor value R i give as [20]: R i 1 2 C ( W / L )( V V ) ox C T 42 (5.10) An ideal current source (I Ri ) of 70μA has been used to design the transistors geometries shown in Figure 5.3 for generating the desired resistance value (R i ) of 50kΩ (Table 5.1). Shaper resistor biasing network V DD V DD Shaper resistor R i V DD 1/2 M42 I Ri (70μA) 2/0.4 n=1 M /0.4 M40 n=1 V C M43 V C - - 2/0.4 M44 n=1 M39 2/0.4 n=1 78μA 1/2 78μA M41 2/0.4 n=1 Figure 5.3 The shaper resistor R i implementation 44

61 5.3 Shaper amplifier design The amplifier s structure for the pulse shaper adopts the same structure of the preamplifier in the CSA (Figure 5.4). The designed shaper amplifier is the scaled down version of the preamplifier in the CSA in terms of the transistors geometries and the power consumption. The level shifter has been also implemented at the output of the shaper amplifier to restore its DC potential. The total current drawn for the shaper amplifier has been scaled down to approximately one quarter of that for the preamplifier (Figure 5.4). Therefore, the transistors sizes in the shaper amplifier have also been scaled down to approximately one quarter of the transistors sizes in the preamplifier in order to preserve the same output swing range within 0.5V to 2.8V (Figure 4.4 ). The aspect ratios and the biasing currents for each transistor in the shaper amplifier are shown in Figure

62 Biasing network for shaper V DD V DD V DD V DD V DD M35 8/1 n=2 V b23 M31 5.6/2 n=5 V b21 M28 n=5 V b26 n=5 M33 M /1 n=20 53μA 53μA 50μA 50μA 46μA M36 n=5 M32 n=5 V b25 M30 n=5 M34 V b24 5.4/2 n=1 V b22 5.2/2 M37 n=5 V b21 V b22 V b23 V b24 V b25 V b26 Shaper amplifier V DD V DD In V b21 5/0.4 M20 n=10 5/0.4 M21 n=10 200μA V b26 M26 2.4/0.4 n=1 V b22 180μA M22 5/3 n=3 20μA 5/0.4 M23 n=4 2/0.4 M24 n=1 n=2 M25 V b23 V b24 V b25 V out(shaper) 50μA 4.5/0.4 M27 n=5 Figure 5.4 The shaper amplifier design The AC simulation of the shaper amplifier in open-loop configuration is processed using HSPICE simulator in frequency range within 1Hz to 10GHz. The gain magnitude and the phase of the shaper amplifier are presented (Figure 5.5 and Figure 5.6). 46

63 Phase (deg) Gain (db) E+0 1E+1 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E+6 1E+7 1E+8 1E+9 1E+10 Frequency (Hz) Figure 5.5 The gain magnitude of the shaper amplifier E+0 1E+1 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E+6 1E+7 1E+8 1E+9 1E+10 Frequency (Hz) Figure 5.6 The phase of the shaper amplifier Measured from the AC simulation results, the mid-band gain (A v ) of the shaper amplifier has been 64dB and the gain-bandwidth product (GBW) has been 1.85GHz. 47

64 Chapter 6 The simulation of the analog front-end signal processing channel In this chapter, all the designed components including the charge sensitive amplifier and the pulse shaper will be integrated together to form the analog front-end signal processing channel (Figure 6.1). The integrated processing channel is simulated in HSPICE with the detector capacitance (C det ) equal 1pF and with no detector leakage current noise (. The power characteristic for one single analog front-end signal processing channel has been analyzed by assuming that a 16-channel radiation detector (Figure 1.3) is to be integrated. 48

65 Biasing network for preamplifier Biasing network for shaper 4/2 n=8 M16 Vb3 207μA 4.87/1 n=10 M12 Vb2 211μA n=12 M9 Vb7 200μA Vb6 n=12 M14 202μA Vb5 5/1 n=9 M10 M18 5/4 n=4 331μA 8/1 n=2 M35 Vb23 53μA 5.6/2 n=5 M31 Vb21 53μA n=5 M28 Vb26 50μA Vb25 n=5 M33 50μA Vb /1 n=20 M29 46μA Vb22 M17 n=17 M13 n=17 M11 n=17 M15 7.7/1 n=1 M19 5/4 n=4 M36 n=5 M32 n=5 M30 n=5 M34 5.4/2 n=1 M37 5.2/2 n=5 Vb2 Vb3 Vb4 Vb5 Vb6 Vb7 Vb21 Vb22 Vb23 Vb24 Vb25 Vb26 Preamplifier Shaper amplifier Ipulse Qin Cdet (1pF) Vb2 Vb4 5/0.4 n=50 M1 5/0.4 M2 n=50 5/ /6 n=8 M3 n=2 M4 6/0.4 M5 n=1 6.8/2 n=5 800μA M6 Vb3 Vb5 Vb6 Vb7 M7 M8 3.5/0.4 n=1 100μA 6.8/0.4 n=5 Pole-zero cancellation Cd (2pF) 6/2 n=80 Mpz 2.5/50 n=4 Vb21 Vb22 5/0.4 n=10 M20 M21 5/3 n=3 M22 5/0.4 n=10 200μA 5/0.4 n=4 M23 2/0.4 M24 n=1 M25 n=2 Vb23 Vb24 Vb25 Vb26 2.4/0.4 n=1 M26 M27 50μA 4.5/0.4 n=5 Cf (100fF) 6/2 n=3 Ci (2pF) n=70 V out(csa) Mf 0.5/50 Shaper resistor Ri (50kΩ) Adaptive continuous reset 5/0.4 M1R n=50 3/50 Mf0 n=70 2/0.4 n=1 M38 1/2 M VC M43 VC - - 1/2 M39 2/0.4 n=1 78μA 78μA 2/0.4 n=1 M40 M41 2/0.4 n=1 Id1R (801μA) If (1μA) Shaper resistor biasing network Shaper resistor Ri2 (50kΩ) IRi (70μA) 2/0.4 n=1 M44 2/0.4 n=1 M45 1/2 1/2 M46 2/0.4 n=1 78μA M VC M50 VC μA 2/0.4 n=1 M47 M48 2/0.4 n=1 V out(shaper) Ci2 (2pF) n=35 Figure 6.1 The analog front-end signal processing channel integration 6.1 The power characteristics The current drawn for each transistor in the analog front-end processing channel have been simulated and presented in Figure 6.1. Note that for the components including the 49

66 biasing circuit for the preamplifier, the biasing circuit for the shaper amplifier, adaptive continuous reset, and the biasing circuit for the shaper resistor will be shared among the total 16 channels of the analog front-end circuits (Figure 6.2). Biasing network for preamplifier Shaper resistor biasing network IRi (70μA) 2/0.4 n=1 M44 4/2 n=8 M16 Vb3 207μA M17 n=17 8/1 n=2 M35 M36 Vb23 53μA n=5 4.87/1 n=10 M12 Vb2 211μA M13 n=17 5.6/2 n=5 M31 Vb21 M32 n=5 n=12 M9 Vb7 200μA Vb6 M11 n=17 n=5 M28 Vb26 50μA Vb25 M30 n=5 n=12 M14 M15 7.7/1 n=1 Adaptive continuous reset Id1R (801μA) 202μA Vb5 Biasing network for shaper 53μA n=5 M33 Vb24 50μA M34 5.4/2 n=1 5/0.4 M1R n=50 5/1 n=9 M10 M18 5/4 n=4 M19 5/4 n=4 331μA 5.02/1 n=20 M29 46μA Vb22 M37 5.2/2 n=5 3/50 n=70 Mf0 Vb2 ~ Vb7 Vb21 ~ Vb26 Analog front-end signal processing channel Channel 1 Channel 2 Channel 3 Channel 4 Channel 5 Channel 6 Channel 7 Channel 8 Channel 9 Channel 10 Channel 11 Channel 12 Channel 13 Channel 14 Channel 15 Channel 16 If (1μA) Figure 6.2 The sharing of the biasing circuits among 16 processing channels In order to derive the overall power consumption per one single processing channel, the power consumptions for the mentioned four circuitries (Figure 6.2) are approximated by dividing their power consumptions with the number of channels. The power consumption for each component in a 16-channel radiation detector is summarized in Table 6.1. The overall power consumption per single processing channel is equal 5.76mW. 50

67 Table 6.1 Power consumption summary for single analog front-end signal processing channel Component Details Current (μa) Power (mw) % Total power Preamplifier % CSA Biasing circuit % Adaptive % continuous reset Shaper amplifier % Shaper Biasing circuit % Shaper resistor % Total analog front-end Transient simulation The HSPICE transient simulation analyzes the timing performance for the designed analog front-end signal processing channel. The high counting rate simulation performed by rapid succession of the input current pulses (I pulse ) tests the shaper output response of the designed signal processing channel The charge-to-voltage conversion rate of the analog front-end signal processing channel The transient analysis has been used to simulate the output response for the CSA and the shaper from 0 to 3μs. Corresponding to a radiation event taking place 1μs with an input charge of 10fC (Figure 6.3), the CSA and shaper output responses are presented in Figure 6.4 and Figure

68 V out(csa) (V) I pulse (μa) Pulse width = 10ns Time (μs) Figure 6.3 The input current pulse for a radiation event with input charge Q in =10fC Time (μs) Figure 6.4 The CSA output response for Q in = 10fC 52

69 V out(shaper) (V) Baseline = 2.75V V signal(out) = 30mV τ p = 103ns Time (μs) Figure 6.5 The shaper output response for Q in = 10fC The amplitude of the shaper output waveform, which is equal to the difference between the baseline and the peak of the waveform, is measured using Figure 6.5. The amplitude measured is equal to 30mV for input charge of 10fC. Hence, the charge-to-voltage conversion of the analog signal processing channel is equal: V signal ( out) 30 Q in mv 3( mv / fc) (5.11) 10 fc The peak of the shaper output waveform takes place at 103ns after the radiation event, which is close to the targeted shaper peaking time (τ p ) of 100ns. The shaper output responses (V out(shaper) ) corresponding to input charges (Q in ) ranging from 1fC to 100fC are simulated (Figure 6.6). 53

70 Shaper output amplitude (V signal(out) ) (V) V out(shaper) (V) Time (μs) Figure 6.6 The shaper output responses vs. the input charge Q in Qin=1fC Q in Qin=5fC Q in Qin=10fC Q in Qin=20fC Q in Qin=30fC Q in Qin=40fC Q in Qin=50fC Q in Qin=60fC Q in Qin=70fC Qin=80fC Q in Q in Qin=90fC Qin=100fC Q in Based on Figure 6.6, the relationship between the shaper output amplitude (V signal(out) ) and the input charge (Q in ) is plotted (Figure 6.7) Linear charge-to-voltage conversion Slope = 3 mv/fc Input Charge (fc) Figure 6.7 The shaper output amplitude vs. the input charge 54

71 I pulse (μa) The simulation results presented in Figure 6.7 reveal a linear charge-to-voltage conversion taking place up to 50fC (equivalent of electrons). This is the acceptable input charge range which will result in a proper charge-to-voltage conversion gain of approximately 3mV/fC High counting rate simulation The high counting rate simulation tests the shaper output response in the case for the rapid succession of the input current pulses (I pulse ) from 100kHz to 1MHz. Three different rates of the input current pulses (I pulse ) are presented: 100kHz (Figure 6.8), 500kHz (Figure 6.10), and 1MHz (Figure 6.12). Their corresponding output responses are shown in Figure 6.9, Figure 6.11, and Figure 6.13 respectively ns Time (μs) Figure 6.8 The input current pulses with frequency of 100kHz 55

72 I pulse (μa) V out(shaper) (V) No shift in baseline Time (μs) Figure 6.9 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 100kHz Time (μs) Figure 6.10 The input current pulses with frequency of 500kHz 56

73 I pulse (μa) V out(shaper) (V) Baseline shift = 1mV Time (μs) Figure 6.11 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 500kHz Time (μs) Figure 6.12 The input current pulses with frequency of 1MHz 57

74 V out(shaper) (V) Baseline shift = 2mV Time (μs) Figure 6.13 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 1MHz In the case of the 100kHz input frequency, there is no shift in the baseline at the shaper output (Figure 6.9). However, 1mV shift of the baseline after 50μs is measured for the case of 500kHz input frequency (Figure 6.11). For an even higher input frequency equal 1MHz, 2mV shift of the baseline is measured after 50μs (Figure 6.13). Therefore, in order to minimize the loss of the resolution to 1mV, the input frequency up to 500kHz is acceptable for our designed analog front-end signal processing channel. 6.3 Noise simulation The analog front-end processing channel is simulated in the HSPICE for its noise characteristic. The HSPICE noise simulation calculates the root mean square (r.m.s) noise voltage at the shaper output (V noise(rms) ) for the analog front-end processing channel. The total r.m.s noise voltage of the entire channel has been 78 from the simulation. Using the ENC formula given in Eq. (3.3) and the charge-to-voltage conversion rate 58

75 given in Figure 6.7, the ENC for the analog front-end signal processing channel is calculated as: ENC total V V noise( rms) signal ( out ) Q q in 78(μV/ Hz) r.m.s electrons 19 3(mV/fC) C (5.12) The HSPICE noise simulation also shows the r.m.s noise voltage at the shaper output (V noise(rms) ) for each circuit component in the analog front-end processing channel (Table 6.2). Also calculated by Eq.(3.3), the corresponding ENC contributions from each circuit component are presented (Table 6.2). Table 6.2 The noise contribution from each component in the analog front-end signal processing channel Block Component V noise(rms) ENC ( ) (r.m.s electrons) Input transistor M CSA preamplifier Current source transistor M Current source transistor M CSA s biasing network CSA reset network Feedback transistor M f Input transistor M Shaper amplifier Current source transistor M Current source transistor M Shaper s biasing network Shaper resistor Resistor R i, R i Pole-zero cancellation Pole-zero transistor M pz 7 15 Total Table 6.2 shows that the major noise contributors are the CSA input transistor M1, the biasing network for the CSA, the CSA feedback transistor M f, and the shaper resistors. For the secondary noise sources such as the current source transistors M4 and M6, their noise contributions are both a small fraction of the input transistor noise M1 noise contribution: 59

76 ENC (r.m.s electrons) ENC 15 19% ENC (5.13) 2 2 M M1 34 ENC 17 25% ENC (5.14) 2 2 M M1 34 Extra noise simulations to investigate the validity of the proposed current source transistor optimization methodology are presented in Appendix A. In addition, the noise simulation for the detector capacitance (C det ) ranging from 1pF to 10pF is presented (Figure 6.14) Slope 37 [r.m.s electrons/pf] ENC 37 C det [r.m.s electrons] Detector capacitance (pf) Figure 6.14 The ENC for the designed signal processing channel vs. the detector capacitances 60

77 Chapter 7 The layout design The layout design for the single analog front-end signal processing channel (Figure 6.1) has been developed using the IBM 130nm CMOS technology by the Cadence Virtuoso Layout tool. The layout design is presented with the floor plan for the other 15 channels (Figure 7.1). Adaptive continuous reset Channel 2 Channel 3 Channel 4 Channel 5 Channel 6 Channel 7 Channel 8 Channel 9 Channel 10 Channel 11 Channel 12 Channel 13 Channel 14 Channel 15 Channel 16 Channel 1 Figure 7.1 The floor plan for 16 analog front-end signal processing channels 61

78 The layout for the single signal processing channel without the layout for the adaptive continuous reset is presented (Figure 7.2). Preamplifier + feedback capacitor (C f ) Biasing network for the preamplifier Reset network (R f ) + pole-zero cancellation Shaper resistors(r i, R i2 ) Shaper amplifier Biasing network for the shaper amlifier Shaper capacitors (C i, C i2 ) Figure 7.2 The rotated layout for the single signal processing channel without the adaptive continuous reset 62

79 7.1 The detailed layout for component The complete layout design has been divided into 7 sub-blocks (Figure 7.3) for presenting the layout in greater details. Biasing network for preamplifier (Fig.7.5) Biasing network for shaper (Fig.7.8) 4/2 n=8 M16 Vb3 4.87/1 n=10 M12 Vb2 n=12 M9 Vb7 n=12 M14 5/1 n=9 M10 8/1 n=2 M35 Vb23 5.6/2 n=5 M31 Vb21 n=5 M28 Vb26 n=5 M /1 n=20 M29 200μA Vb6 Vb5 M18 5/4 n=4 50μA Vb25 Vb24 Vb22 M17 n=17 M13 n=17 M11 n=17 M15 7.7/1 n=1 M19 5/4 n=4 M36 n=5 M32 n=5 M30 n=5 M34 5.4/2 n=1 M37 5.2/2 n=5 Vb2 Vb3 Vb4 Vb5 Vb6 Vb7 Vb21 Vb22 Vb23 Vb24 Vb25 Vb26 Ipulse Qin Cdet (1pF) Preamplifier + feedback capacitor (Fig.7.4) 5/0.4 n=50 M1 Vb7 M7 3.5/0.4 Vb2 5/0.4 M2 n=50 n=1 5/0.4 Vb4 5.5/6 n=8 M3 Vb3 n=2 Vout(CSA) M4 6/0.4 M5 Vb5 n=1 6.8/2 n=5 M6 Vb6 M8 6.8/0.4 n=5 Cd 6/2 (2pF) n=80 Mpz 2.5/50 n=4 Vb21 Vb22 Shaper amplifier (Fig.7.7) 5/0.4 n=10 M20 5/0.4 M21 n=10 5/3 5/0.4 n=3 n=4 M23 M22 2/0.4 M24 n=1 M25 n=2 Vb23 Vb24 Vb25 Vb26 2.4/0.4 n=1 M26 M27 Cf (100fF) Mf 6/2 n=3 0.5/50 Adaptive continuous reset (Fig.7.10) Ci (2pF) n=70 Shaper resistor (Fig.7.9) Pole-zero cancellation + reset network + shaper capacitors (Figure 7.6) Id1R (801μA) 5/0.4 M1R n=50 3/50 Mf0 n=70 2/0.4 n=1 M38 M39 2/0.4 n=1 1/2 M VC M43 VC - - 1/2 2/0.4 n=1 M40 M41 2/0.4 n=1 If (1μA) IRi (70μA) M44 2/0.4 n=1 2/0.4 n=1 M45 M46 2/0.4 n=1 1/2 M VC M50 VC - - 1/2 2/0.4 n=1 M47 M48 2/0.4 n=1 Ci2 n=35 Vout(Shaper) Figure 7.3 The layout division for the analog front-end signal processing channel 63

80 The layouts for each sub-block in Figure 7.3 are presented from Figure 7.4 to Figure 7.10 with the transistor number clearly marked. All the transistors in the design are of the multi-fingers layout type, with the width of the finger smaller than 7μm. V DD M1 M2 M3 M8 M7 C f M4 M6 M5 gnd Figure 7.4 The layout for the preamplifier and the feedback capacitor V DD M10 M14 M9 M12 M16 M19 M18 M15 M11 M13 M17 gnd Figure 7.5 The layout for the biasing network of the preamplifier C d C i2 M f M pz C i Figure 7.6 The layout for the reset network, the pole-zero cancellation circuitry, and the shaper capacitors 64

81 V DD M20 M21 M23 M27 M26 M22 M25 M24 gnd Figure 7.7 The layout for the shaper amplifier V DD M29 M33 M28 M31 M35 M37 M34 M30 M32 M36 gnd Figure 7.8 The layout module for the biasing network of the shaper amplifier V DD M50 M43 M49 M42 M45M46 M48 M47 M44 M38 M39 M41 M40 gnd Figure 7.9 The layout module for the shaper resistor 65

82 M1 R M f0 Figure 7.10 The layout module for the adaptive reset network 7.2 The post-layout simulation To proceed with the post-layout simulation, the parasitics of the low noise amplifiers for the CSA and the shaper are extracted and then simulated The post-layout transient simulation The CSA and the shaper output responses from the post-layout simulation corresponding to an input charge (Q in ) equivalent of 10fC (Figure 7.11) are shown in Figure 7.12 and 66

83 V out(csa) (V) I pulse (μa) Figure 7.13 respectively. The radiation event takes place at 1μs and the simulation is presented from 0 to 3μs Pulse width = 10ns Time (μs) Figure 7.11 Input current pulse for a radiation event with input charge equal 10fC Time (μs) Figure 7.12 The CSA output response for Q in = 10fC 67

84 V out(shaper) (V) Baseline = 2.732V τ p = 150ns V signal(out) = 27mV Time (μs) Figure 7.13 The shaper output response for Q in = 10fC From Figure 7.13 the simulated amplitude of the shaper output response (V signal(out) ) is equal 27mV for the input charge (Q in ) of 10fC. This corresponds to the charge-to-voltage conversion rate equal 2.7mV/fC. The increasing shaper peaking time (τ p ) of 150ns has been measured. The baseline of the shaper output pulse has changed from 2.75V for the pre-layout simulation to for the post-layout simulation. The difference of the baseline and the shaper peaking could result from the parasitic extracted from the layout. The shaper output responses for input charge ranging from 1fC to 100fC are shown in Figure

85 V out(shaper) (V) Time (μs) Figure 7.14 The shaper output response vs. the input charge Q in Qin=1fC Q in Qin=5fC Q in Qin=10fC Q in Qin=20fC Q in Qin=30fC Q in Qin=40fC Q in Qin=50fC Q in Qin=60fC Q in Qin=70fC Q in Qin=80fC Q in Qin=90fC Q in Qin=100fC Based on the shaper output waveforms shown in Figure 7.14, the relationship between the shaper output amplitude (V signal(out) ) and the input charge (Q in ) is plotted (Figure 7.15). The linear charge-to-voltage conversion takes place up to 50fC, which matches the prelayout simulation result. The charge-to-voltage conversion gain has been 2.7mV/fC, approximately 10% smaller than for the pre-layout circuit. 69

86 Shaper output amplitude (V signal(out) ) (V) 0.25 Linear charge-tovoltage Slope 2.7 mv/fc Input Charge (fc) Figure 7.15 The shaper output amplitude vs. the input charge The high counting rate simulation test the shaper output response in the case of the high rate input current pulses (I pulse ) from 100KHz to 1MHz. The shaper output responses for input pulse frequency equal 100KHz, 333KHz, 500KHz, and 1MHz are presented in Figure 7.16, Figure 7.17, Figure 7.18, and Figure 7.19 respectively. 70

87 V out(shaper) (V) V out(shaper) (V) No baseline shift Time (μs) Figure 7.16 The shaper output response for the input pulse frequency of 100kHz Baseline shift = 1mV Time (μs) Figure 7.17 The shaper output response for the input pulse frequency of 333kHz 71

88 V out(shaper) (V) V out(shaper) (V) Baseline shift = 3mV Time (μs) Figure 7.18 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 500kHz Baseline shift = 6mV Time (μs) Figure 7.19 The shaper output response for input pulse frequency of 1MHz In the case of the 100kHz input pulse rate, there is no shift in the baseline at the shaper output (Figure 7.16). However, 1mV shift of the baseline after 50μs is measured for the case of input pulse frequency equal 333kHz (Figure 7.18). For the 500kHz and the 1MHz input pulse rate, 3mV and 6mV shift of the baseline are measured after 50μs respectively 72

89 ENC (r.m.s electrons) (Figure 7.19). Therefore, in order to minimize the loss of the resolution to 1mV, the input frequency up to 333kHz is acceptable for the designed analog front-end signal processing channel with the extracted parasitics Post-layout noise simulation The total noise of the post-layout design has been simulated and measured at the shaper output. The ENC equivalent of 277 r.m.s electrons has been achieved for a detector capacitance (C det ) of 1pF. Extra noise simulations have been done by increasing the detector capacitance (C det ) from 1pF to 10pF (Figure 7.20) Slope 57 [r.m.s electrons/pf] ENC 57 C det [r.m.s electrons] Detector capacitance (pf) Figure 7.20 The ENC of the designed signal processing channel with the layout parasitics vs. the detector capacitance 73

90 7.3 Performance summary The simulation results of the analog front-end signal processing channel for the prelayout and post-layout system are summarized in Table 7.1. Table 7.1 The pre-layout and post-layout performance summaries for the analog front-end signal processing channel Category Pre-layout Post-layout Shaper peaking time (τ p ) 103ns 150ns DC potential of the shaper baseline 2.75V 2.731V ENC for C det = 1pF 170 r.m.s electrons 277 r.m.s electrons ENC vs. C det in pf 37 C det C det [r.m.s electrons] Charge-to-voltage conversion 3mV/fC 2.7mV/fC Input charge range Up to 50fC Up to 50fC 500kHz 333kHz Maximum input pulse frequency for the baseline shift smaller than 1mV As a result of the parasitic extraction, the post-layout simulation has shown a small decrease in performance for the noise characteristics and for the shaper peaking time. Based on the post-layout simulation results, the designed analog front-end signal processing channel has been compared to other related work (Table 7.2). Table 7.2 Performance comparisons between this work and other related works work Ref. [19] Ref. [21] This work Technology 0.8μm 0.35μm 0.13μm Power supply 4V 3.3V 3.3V Shaper order 1 st order 2 nd order 1 st order Peaking time 45ns 195ns 150ns Charge-to-voltage 20mV/fC 18mV/fC 2.7mV/fC conversion gain C f N/A 100fF 100fF Power per channel 1mW 13mW 5.76mW ENC vs. C det in pf 44 C det C det C det +200 [r.m.s electrons] Input charge range N/A < 70fC < 50fC 74

91 Table 7.2 shows that the total noise for this work in terms of the ENC corresponding to the 1pF detector capacitance has been smaller than the total noise for the other two related works. In addition, the channel power consumption is approximately half of that reported in [21]. This comparison shows that this work has achieved the low noise performance with respect to the low capacitance pixelated semiconductor detector by a relatively efficient power usage. 75

92 Chapter 8 Conclusion and future work In this thesis, the low noise analog front-end detector signal processing channel for the application in the low capacitance pixelated semiconductor detector system has been designed and analyzed using the IBM 130nm CMOS technology. The designed signal processing channel features a noise optimized charge sensitive amplifier (CSA) and a fast first order CR-RC pulse shaper. The noise contribution of the CSA preamplifier that adopts the dual PMOS cascode amplifier structure has been well optimized by applying the proposed current source transistor noise optimization methodology. The high feedback resistance (R f ) of CSA in the mega-ohm range has been achieved with the implementation of the adaptive continuous reset circuitry. In order to stabilize the baseline shift due to the extra pole generated by the reset network, the pole-zero cancellation circuitry has been designed and integrated with the CR-RC pulse shaper. The CMOS transistor layout design for one single signal processing channel has been generated and simulated with the extraction of the parasitics. Corresponding to the low detector capacitance (C det ) of 1pF, the HSPICE simulation shows that the low Equivalent Noise Charge (ENC) of 277 r.m.s electrons has been achieved for the shaper peaking time (τ p ) equivalent of 150ns and the channel power consumption of 5.76mW. The charge-tovoltage conversion has been 2.7mV/fC for the input charge range (Q in ) within 50fC. The post-layout simulation has shown a small decrease in performance for the noise 76

93 characteristics and the shaper peaking time (τ p ). The performance comparison between the pre-layout and the post-layout simulation is summarized in Table 8.1. Table 8.1 The pre-layout and post-layout performance summaries for the analog front-end signal processing channel Category Pre-layout Post-layout Power supply (V DD ) 3.3V 3.3V Shaper peaking time (τ p ) 103ns 150ns ENC for C det = 1pF 170 r.m.s electrons 277 r.m.s electrons ENC vs. C det in pf 37 C det C det +200 [r.m.s electrons] Charge-to-voltage conversion 3mV/fC 2.7mV/fC Input charge range Up to 50fC Up to 50fC The performance of the designed analog front-end signal processing channel based on the post-layout simulation has also been compared with other related works. The comparison shows that this work has achieved the low noise performance with respect to the low capacitance pixelated semiconductor detector by a relatively efficient power usage. For future work considerations, a complete and optimized layout which includes the entire 16 analog front-end signal processing channels is targeted. Additionally, the smaller voltage supply will be considered for achieving the lower single channel power consumption. Lastly, we would like to wrap up the complete IC design of the pixelated semiconductor radiation detector by implementing the additional signal extraction block that includes the Analog-to-Digital signal processing circuitry. 77

94 References [1] B. J. Heismann, Semiconductor Radiation Detection Systems, K. Iniewski, Ed. Florida, United States of America: CRC Press, 2010, ch. 1, p. 14. [2] R. Leckie, H. Lenos, "CZT Detectors converting assembly technologies open new application opportunities," in Oct/Nov 2009 issue of Chip Scale Review. [3] H. Spieler, Semiconductor Detector Systems. New York, United States of America: Oxford Science Publications, 2005, pp. 3, 43, 116, , 167. [4] University of Zurich. Early Clinical Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease. [Online]. [5] G. D. Geronimo, Medical Imaging Principles, Detectors, and Electronics, K Iniewski, Ed. New Jersey, United States of America: Wiley, 2009, ch. 6, pp [6] G. De Geronimo, P. O Connor, A. Kandasamy, J. Grosholz, "Advanced Readout ASICs for Multielement CZT Detectors," SPIE, vol. 4784, [7] Gianluigi De Geronimo, Angelo Dragone, Joe Grosholz, Paul O Connor, Emerson Vernon, "ASIC With Multiple Energy Discrimination for High-Rate Photon Counting Applications," IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NUCLEAR SCIENCE, vol. 54, no. 2, pp , [8] Pawel Grybos, "Pole-Zero Cancellation Circuit With Pulse Pile-Up Tracking System 78

95 for Low Noise Charge-Sensitive Amplifiers," IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NUCLEAR SCIENCE, vol. 55, no. 1, February [9] J. Vandenbussche, F. Leyn, G. Van der Plas, G. Gielen, W. Sansen, "A Fully Integrated Low-Power CMOS Particle Detector Front-End for Space Applications," IEEE Transactions On Nuclear Science, vol. 45, no. 4, pp , [10] G. D. Geronimo, J. Fried, E. Frost, B. F. Philips, E. Vernon, E. A. Wulf, "Front-End ASIC for a Silicon Compton Telescope," IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NUCLEAR SCIENCE, vol. 55, no. 4, pp , [11] G. Gramegna, P. O'Connor, P. Rehak, S. Hart, "CMOS preamplifier for lowcapacitance detectors," Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, vol. 390, no. 1-2, pp , [12] J.F. Pratte, C.M. Pepin, D. Rouleau, O. M ńard, J. Mouine, R. Lecomte, "Design of a Fast Shaping Amplifier for PET/CT APD Detectors with Depth-Of-Interaction," IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NUCLEAR SCIENCE, vol. 49, no. 5, pp , [13] W.M.C. Sansen, Z.Y. Chang, "Limits of Low Noise Performance of Detector Readout Front Ends in CMOS Technology," IEEE Transactions On Circuits and Systems, vol. 37, no. 11, pp , [14] P. Grybos, P. Maj, R. Szczygiel, "Comparison of two pole-zero cancellation circuits for fast charge sensitive amplifier in CMOS technology," Mixed Design of 79

96 Integrated Circuits and Systems, [15] P. Grybos, R. Szczygiel, "Pole-Zero Cancellation Circuit With Pulse Pile-Up Tracking System for Low Noise Charge-Sensitive Amplifiers," IEEE Transactions On Nuclear Science, vol. 55, no. 1, pp , [16] Z. Y. Chang, W. M. C. Sansen, "Low-Noise Wide-Band Amplifiers in Bipolar and CMOS Technologies," in Low-Noise Wide-Band Amplifiers in Bipolar and CMOS Technologies. Boston, United States of America: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991, p [17] P. Grybos, M. Idzik, P.Maj, "Noise Optimization of Charge Amplifier With MOS Input Transistors Operating in Moderate Inversion Region for Short Peaking Times," IEEE Transactions On Nuclear Science, vol. 54, no. 3, [18] G. D. Geronimo Paul O Connor, "Prospects for charge sensitive amplifiers in scaled CMOS," Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, pp , [19] Y. Hu, J. L. Solere, D. Lachartre, R. Turchetta, "Design and Performance of a Low- Noise,Low-Power Consumption CMOS Charge Amplifier for Capacitive Detectors," IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NUCLEAR SCIENCE, vol. 45, no. 1, p. 119, [20] P. E. Allen, D. R. Holberg, CMOS Analog Circuit Design Second Edition. New York, Unites States of America: Oxford University Press, 2002, ch. 3, p. 89. [21] X. C. Fang, C. Hu-Guo, D. Brasse, Y. Hu, "Design and characterization of a multichannel front-end readout ASIC with low noise and large dynamic input range for 80

97 APD-based PET imaging," Analog Integrated Circuit Signal Processing, vol. 66, pp , [22] Ming-Cheng Lin, M. Syrzycki, "Current Source Transistor Optimization Methodology for Noise Optimized Charge Sensitive Amplifier with Fast Shaper," in 24th IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering, CCECE 2011, Niagara Falls, ON,

98 Appendix A. The test of the current source noise optimization methodology In this section the validity of the proposed current source transistor noise optimization methodology is examined [22]. The methodology is applied to design four preamplifiers in the CSA such that: The four preamplifiers are designed with the same amplifier structure (Figure 4.2), bias condition (Figure 4.4), and the system parameters (Figure 4.1). The four preamplifiers are designed with different current source thermal noise scaling factor and current source flicker noise scaling factor (Figure A.1). Figure A.1 Four CSAs with 4 selected current source noise scaling factors The input transistor optimization methodology is first applied to find the optimal geometry of the input transistor M1 for all four preamplifiers is: (W/L) 1 =200μm/0.4μm. 82

99 As a next step, the current source optimization methodology is applied to design the current source transistors M4 and M6 in all four preamplifiers using Eq.(3.18) and Eq.(3.19). The optimized current source transistors geometries are presented in Figure A.2. Figure A.2 The noise optimized current source transistor geometries for M4 and M6 The four designed preamplifiers will be simulated together with the first order CR-RC shaper of shaping time (τ p ) equal 100ns. The shaper is designed using the macromodel op-amp and the passive components in HSPICE (Figure A.3). 83

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