NIR (SWIR) Image Sensors

Home Applications NIR (SWIR) Image Sensors

Near infrared (NIR) and short wave infrared (SWIR) sensing in the range from 900 – 2500 nm is getting very important in such applications as machine vision (for goods quality inspection and control), automotive (for 3D aerial and geographic mapping, advanced driver-assistance systems at night and adverse weather conditions (mist/fog/snow)), smartphone cameras (for biometrics and 3D photography), AR and VR headsets (for eyes tracking), in night vision and surveillance. Current cameras with based in hybrid InGaAs technology, have high production cost and high price (over $10,000), narrow range (up to 1700 nm) and have limited camera resolution (<1.36 MP).

QDot™ quantum dots can be monolithically integrated on a silicon CMOS read-out integrated circuits (ROIC) making them an ideal solution for economical, high resolution (up to 10 MP) and broadband cameras (300-2500 nm). Read this blog article for more details.

Technical data

Benefits for using QDot™ PbS Quantum Dots for NIR (SWIR) sensors (read this blog article for more details):

  • Broad tunable absorption in NIR (SWIR) range from 700 to 2500 nm
  • Superior photoelectrical properties with high devices EQE and detectivity, low dark current
  • Easy integration with silicon CMOS by printing and spin-coating manufacturing processes
Photodiode structure with QDot™ PbS QDs

SENSOR PERFORMANCE:

Parameter
Typical values
Sensitivity range
300 – 2500 nm (tunable)
EQE
> 30-40 %
Specific detectivity
Up to 1x1011 cm∙Hz1/2/W (Jones)
Dark current
100 – 1000 nA/cm2
Response time
< 50 μs
Pixel pitch
< 2 μm
Cooling requirements
Room temperature or TEC

DEVICE EXAMPLE:

QDot™ PbS QDs with 1420 nm absorbance (QDot™ PbS-1420-abs) were used as an active layer on CMOS ROIC chip to make the NIR camera* with a sensitivity range of 400 – 1500 nm, 768 x 512 px resolution with 5 μm px pitch.

The device pixel pitch structure

The typical EQE reached over 40 % at the first excitonic absorption peak 1420 nm with the specific detectivity is up to 1 x 1011 Jones and the dark current in the range of 100 – 1000 nA/cm2.

* The image sensor was developed in collaboration with imec

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