Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Curved Photodetectors Fresh from the Lab

University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Register and Science Daily report that Associate Professor Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma and colleagues have developed a flexible light-sensitive material. Their technology is featured on the cover of the January 5 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

Ma and his group can create curved photodetectors with specially fabricated nanomembranes—extremely thin, flexible sheets of germanium. Researchers then can apply the nanomembranes to any polymer substrate, such as a thin, flexible piece of plastic. Currently, the group has demonstrated photodetectors curved in one direction, but Ma hopes next to develop hemispherical sensors.

Ma's curved photodetector could eliminate that distortion. "If you can make a curved imaging plane, you just need one lens," says Ma. "That's why this development is extremely important."


  1. Surely it is going to turn out to be more cost effective to remove distortion with digital image processing post capture than to mass produce these kinds of devices. And, that assumes that the photodetectors advance to a high level of performance and density.

    At least now we all know what to do with thinned potato-chip BSI sensors...


  2. Not all the distortions can be compensated by digital. For example, if image in the corners is not focussed, the details are hard to recover. The crosstalk in the corners is bigger too, so color gamut may be narrower or just different from the center.

  3. "if image in the corners is not focussed, the details are hard to recover"

    I think that's from the aberration of the lens, there is not so much can be done on sensor

  4. My point was that simple lens has curved image plan. If sensor can follow its curvature, the focusing in corners would be much better. If sensor is flat, the unsharp corners appear as aberrations.


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