Film’s dead, right? Then you haven’t heard of QuantiumFilm. Just like digital photography revolutionized the industry and replaced most people’s traditional film cameras, QuantiumFilm technology may become the new way that digital photography is captured.
The new technology by InVisage the uses a matrix of nanoparticles embedded in a polymer film, instead of silver grains like photographic film, which can be simply “painted” onto the top of a low-cost wafer. The new sensor offers four times the sensitivity of conventional CMOS image sensors at a dramatically reduced cost per chip.
“Our quantum film replaces the silicon used for image capture, but what we have really created here is a new semiconductor material,” said Jess Lee, InVisage president and CEO. “Our quantum film even looks like photographic film—an opaque black material that we deposit right on the top layer of our image chip.”
Unlike tradition semiconductors, which have a fixed bandgap, the bandgap of Invisage’s quantum film can be adjusted by changing the size of the embedded quantum dots. The film can also be painted-on at room temperature, obviating the need for expensive high-temperature fabrication techniques required by conventional sensors.
“We can paint our quantum-dot film onto any surface,” said Lee. “Right now we are painting them on silicon wafers for our first product—an ultra low cost image sensor that obsoletes CMOS sensors.”
Traditional CMOS sensors require that light filter down past several microns of metallization to reach the photodetectors on a silicon wafer, but InVisage’s quantum film is on the top layer for 100 percent exposure to incident light.
InVisage also wants to apply this technology to night vision goggles and solar cells.