研发报告详细内容

imec展示新型的薄膜单片图像传感器

     

imec报告了基于薄膜技术的图像传感器,这项技术可以用于短波红外范围成像并具有超纪录的像素

 

具有成本效益的像素密度成像记录仪,适用于监控、生物识别、虚拟现实、研究和工业自动化领域

比利时鲁汶,20191021 世界领先的纳米电子和数字技术研究与创新中心imec展示了一款新型的薄膜单片图像传感器,该传感器可捕获近红外光(NIR)和短波长红外光(SWIR)。与目前的常规红外成像仪相比,该工艺基于单片方法,有望实现数倍级产量提升和成本削减,同时达到数百万像素的分辨率。红外成像仪被广泛应用于各种领域,而imec的新技术极大地扩展了其可能性,有望覆盖监控、生物识别、虚拟现实、机器视觉和工业自动化等领域。

To date, infrared image sensors are produced through a hybrid technology: the crystalline semiconductor detector and the electronic readout are fabricated separately and then interconnected at pixel or chip periphery level. This is an expensive and time-consuming process with a low throughput, resulting in sensors with a restricted resolution that often require cooling to reduce the signal noise under dark conditions. This prevents a widespread use of IR imagers in consumer applications. For some time, researchers have been looking at various monolithic approaches. Imec’s approach paves the way to high-resolution, low-cost, wafer-based SWIR imagers.

Imec's IR imagers consist of a novel thin-film photodetector pixel stack based on quantum dots deposited directly on top of an electronic readout. They are manufactured in a monolithic process compatible with wafer-based mass production. The pixels embed newly developed high-performance low bandgap quantum dot materials that match or even surpass the performance of inorganic light absorbers. The stacks have been carefully engineered and can be tuned to target a spectrum from visible light all the way up to 2µm wavelength. Test photodiodes on silicon substrate achieve an external quantum efficiency above 60 percent at 940nm wavelength, exceeding the state-of-the-art, and above 20 percent at 1450nm, allowing for uncooled operation with dark current comparable to commercial InGaAs photodetectors. The prototype imager has resolution of 758x512 pixels and 5um pixel pitch.

“We are excited to present this outstanding thin-film imager, a collaborative result of several teams with expertise ranging from chemistry, device engineering, readout design through integration and fab manufacturing. 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).”

Looking further, imec aims to develop a wafer-level NIR and SWIR image sensor technology and develop technologies for companies with a roadmap in innovative image sensors, cameras and smart imaging applications. The current SWIR photodetector is the result of several collaborations, including the Flemish VLAIO-SBO project MIRIS (IWT/150029) with academic partners Ghent University and University of Hasselt, and Flanders based companies active in imaging technology.

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Wafer with image sensors for the SWIR range. Processed at wafer-scale, these thin-film imagers can be produced with increased throughput and cost compared to today’s conventional IR imagers, while at the same time enabling multi-megapixel resolution.

 

 

Monolithic thin-film image sensor for the SWIR range, processed at die level. Imec works towards scaling the process to wafer level which increases throughput and cost compared to today’s conventional IR imagers, while at the same time enabling multi-megapixel resolution. 

 

Imec’s thin-film SWIR image sensors can be integrated in camera modules with standard or SWIR lenses.

 

 

 

Test images of cookies acquired with a standard Si-based camera in visible range (left) and imec QD-based camera at the wavelength of 1450 nm (right). Bottom cookie had a drop of water applied to its surface, which can be only distinguished in the SWIR thanks to high water absorption contrast.


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