An interesting link to a company claiming to increase sensor sensitivity from 25% to 95%. They're starting with high end cell phone cameras, but I wonder if this has broader application?
New sensor tech(6 posts) (6 voices)
Im inclined to believe that any time you can newly apply quantum technology to something "old" its bound to be a good thing. We'll be able to shoot a reasonably good portrait in the trunk of a car according to those percentages. :]
Yeah I'm holding off judgement until there are actual samples proving a 95% increase in performance. Otherwise it's just vaporware and they are just making bold promises in order to get more development money. But we'll see.
It's not a 95% increase in performance, it's capturing 95% of the light that strikes the sensor rather than the current 25% (all of this is according to the article, of course). That should basically be a free 2 stops of light, which is a very solid improvement, but not really that much bigger a leap than we've seen in the past (especially considering that the article is likely overstating the true improvement). There may be other implications in capturing more light rather than just improving the signal-to-noise ratio, though, like less internal reflections off the sensor.
Right, shade. They're claiming basically a 3-fold (300%) improvement over silicon, not 95%.
I'm really skeptical about this but would love to see that kind of improvement. The real problems they'll have are
1) capture cross-section is very small for quantum dots (basically, I'm saying that it's not probable that a light wave will be absorbed by a quantum dot because the dot is so small—this is a similar problem to what they're accusing silicon of having problems with!)
2) if you put lots of quantum dots very close to each other to try to overcome problem 1), you end up changing the electrical properties of the quantum dots and they behave more like a crystal such as...wait for it...silicon. edit: this isn't the whole story, either. I don't know the whole story. I guess my point is that quantum dots are only quantum dots when they're mostly by themselves.
What could improve light gathering is to use a material with a direct band gap so that you don't need to use phonons in the material to conserve momentum in every photon absorption like silicon has to. But using silicon saves you so much grief down the road because of the beautiful interface it forms with its oxide (SiO2) that I don't see it leaving us anytime soon. Near-future improvements will probably come through backside illumination.
Sensor sensitivity is one thing, what about quality of light, DR. I don't think this will ever find its way into a DSLR, maybe a phone at the best
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