Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rohm and AIST Developed New Image Sensor

Tech-On: Rohm and the Research Center for Photovoltaics of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) announced successful prototyping of CIGS (Cu-In-Ga-Se) image sensor which is claimed to have approximately 100 times the sensitivity of CCD, CMOS and other Si-based image sensors.

The 100x claim apparently comes from IR sensitivity of the sensor, which allows it to operate in eye-invisible range, that is 0 lux.

EETAsia has a bit more technical article on the same technology. CIGS photodiodes used in solar cells have long been a candidate for image sensors, as they show superior QE and close to 100% FF. The main obstacle was high dark current. Rohm and AIST have developed a novel process technology to overcome this issue.

The 352 x 288 pixel prototype is sensitive in 400-1,300nm spectral range. Its pixel pitch is 10um.

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