Research course

Development of New CMOS Image Sensor Technology

Open University · Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute - PSSRI

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent).

Months of entry


Course content

The Centre for Electronic Imaging at The Open University aims to develop the next generation of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors suitable for Earth observation, ground and space-based astronomy, and other science applications requiring high quantum efficiency in the red and near-infrared parts of the spectrum. The main innovation is the achievement of high QE by full depletion of the thick sensitive semiconductor layer using reverse substrate bias. In this way, sensitive detector thickness of 100 μm or more can be realised, instead of the current 5–10-μm-thick devices. The development will concentrate on building silicon CMOS image sensors using pinned photodiode photosensitive elements, capable of achieving science-grade imaging performance.

The technological advances from this work will allow many space-based imaging instruments to transition from charge-coupled device (CCD) to CMOS devices and benefit from better radiation hardness, higher readout speeds, increased level of integration and lower power dissipation.

Potential supervisors:

Department specialisms

CMOS image sensors for precision astronomy Development of an X-ray camera for the OGRE sounding rocket Development of an imaging camera for UKube-1 Investigation of electron-multiplying CCD technology for space astronomy Radiation damage in scientific sensors for space Development of CMOS imager for the JANUS camera on JUICE

Fees and funding

For detailed information on current fees visit: Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


full time
48 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 659036