(CompoundSemiconductor.net) Belgian research hub Imec has presented a new image sensor that uses a thin film of quantum dots to capture light in the near-infrared (NIR) and short-wavelength infrared (SWIR).
The monolithic process promises an order of magnitude gain in fabrication throughput and cost compared to processing today’s conventional IR imagers, while at the same time enabling multi-megapixel resolution.
IR imagers are used in a wide variety of applications; Imec says its new technology greatly extends their possibilities in surveillance, biometric identification, virtual reality, machine vision, and industrial automation.
This result opens up many new applications for thin-film imagers,” commented Pawel Malinowski, Imec’s thin-film imagers program manager. “Our imagers could be integrated in next generation world-facing smartphone cameras coupled with eye-safe light sources, enabling compact sensing modules for augmented reality. In inspection, they could be used for food or plastics sorting, and in surveillance for low-light cameras with better contrast. Additionally, by enabling feature distinction in bad weather or smoke conditions, one can envision firefighting applications and, in the future, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).”

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