A CMOS implantable chip with 256 active pixel sensors (APSs), on-chip photovoltaic cells, and iridium-oxide (IrOx) electrodes is proposed and designed for subretinal prostheses. In the proposed chip, the on-chip electrode surface is deposited with IrOx by RF sputtering and photolithography patterning. The divisional power supply scheme (DPSS) is adopted to generate sufficient stimulation current whereas the APS is used to enhance the image sensitivity. The proposed chip consists of a 16 × 16 photodiode array with 8 DPSS divisions, control signal generator circuits, and photovoltaic cells. It is designed and fabricated into 180 nm CMOS image sensor (CIS) technology and postprocessed with an IrOx coating. From the electrical measurement results, the fabricated chip has a peak output stimulation current of 16.7 μA under the equivalent electrode impedance load. The stimulation frequency is 30.2 Hz and the amount of injected charges at each pixel is 3.5 nC. Both image light sensitivity and injection charges are significantly improved. The surface morphology, crystallinity, charge storage capacity, and biocompatibility of sputtering iridium oxide film (SIROF) were investigated. As a result, the SIROF has desirable physical and electrochemical properties that make it suitable for the neurostimulation electrodes on the 256-pixel implantable chip. The 7-month biocompatibility and charge delivery capability of the fabricated chip have been confirmed by electroretinography (ERG) measurement on a Lanyu minipig in in vivo animal tests.
- Active pixel sensor
- Biocompatible package
- CMOS image sensor
- Divisional power supply scheme
- Photovoltaic cell