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Patented Core Technology: CQD® Sensors

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SWIR Vision Systems® has introduced a new class of cameras featuring a 400nm to 1,700nm broadband image sensor technology based on colloidal quantum dot (CQD) thin film photodiodes fabricated monolithically on silicon readout wafers.

These sensors have the potential to achieve for SWIR imaging, what CMOS image sensors and micro-bolometer arrays have achieved for visible and longwave infrared imaging respectively.

Namely, to leverage the scale and cost structure of the silicon integrated circuit industry, moving SWIR imaging from a specialized niche into broad commercial markets.

CQD Sensors 300h-1

Acuros CQD® Sensors

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SWIR Vision Systems’ CQD sensor technology uses a monolithic integration approach, in which the quantum dot-based sensor is fabricated directly onto CMOS readout integrated circuits (ROICs) using well-established, low-cost semiconductor deposition techniques.

The process requires no hybridization, no epitaxial growth or exotic substrate materials, and can be easily scaled to wafer-level fabrication.

The approach also employs low-cost, colloidal quantum dots to form as small as sub-2μm pitch p-n photodiode arrays sensitive in both the SWIR and visible spectral bands.

SWIR CQD Sensor Vs Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) Sensor

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The current SWIR imaging market is dominated by indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) sensors, a compound semiconductor grown epitaxially on lattice-matched indium phosphide (InP) substrates.

The fabrication method imposes limitations on pixel size, pixel spacing, and sensor resolution; commercially practical InGaAs SWIR cameras are limited to VGA resolution, and even these are considered too costly for most machine vision applications.

InGaAs SWIR Sensors
InGasSWIR sensor
red x 24 Higher pixel pitch
red x 24 Lower resolution
red x 24 Higher cost
red x 24 Not volume scalable
red x 24 Difficult to export (ITAR)
green check Higher optical efficiency
Acuros® CQD SWIR Sensors
Acuros CQD sensors 170h
green check Smaller pixel pitch
green check Higher resolution sensors
green check Lower $ per megapixel
green check Scalable to high volume
green check Scalable to very low cost
green check Ease of global export (EAR-99)
minus 24 Lower optical efficiency