They must be able to withstand high ambient temperatures and be particularly small, light and robust. What's more, they have to reliably capture all the required images and should cost as little as possible. Nowadays CMOS sensors are used for most in-car systems.
These semiconductor chips convert light signals into electrical pulses and are installed in most digital cameras. At present, however, the sensors used for industrial and other special cameras are mostly color blind.
Now researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisburg are adding some color to the picture. They have developed a new process for producing CMOS image sensors which enables the chips to see color. Normally the image sensors are produced on silicon wafers using a semiconductor technique, the CMOS process. "We have integrated a color filter system in the process," explains Prof. Dr. Holger Vogt, Deputy Director of the IMS. "In the same way as the human eye needs color-specific cone types, color filters have to be inserted in front of the sensors so that they can distinguish color." This job is handled by polymers dyed in the primary colors red, green and blue. Each pixel on the sensor is coated with one of the three colors by a machine which coats the sensor disk propels with a micrometer-thick polymer layer.
Using UV light and a mask which is only transparent on the desired pixels, the dye is fixed at the requisite points and the rest is then washed off. In addition, the researchers have developed special microlenses which help the sensor to capture and measure the light more efficiently. With the aid of a transparent polyimide they create a separate lens for each individual pixel, which almost doubles the light-sensitivity of the image sensor.
The optimized CMOS process not only makes it possible to cost-efficiently improve the performance of driver assistance systems. Endoscopes can also benefit from the new properties of CMOS image sensors. The researchers are presenting the CMOS process at the Vision trade fair from November 3 to 5 in Stuttgart (Hall 6, Stand 6D12).
Holger Vogt | EurekAlert!
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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