Research proposed in EDISON - GA

Digital cameras have been one of the fastest growing sectors of the consumer electronics market. Standalone cameras as well as cameras embedded in other devices including mobile phones, laptops, scanners, computer mice and even toys are a regular site in the present day world. This has enabled people across the world to share valuable resources, increase productivity as well as improved quality of life. The principal cause of this growth has been the ability of designing and manufacturing image sensors used in the digital cameras in Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) processes, in which most of the integrated circuits including ones used in computers and mobiles are manufactured. This has enabled low cost and low power sensors which have the potential of integrating a large functionality on a single chip.

With success in low end market of imaging, CMOS image sensors are now trying to improve the image quality to enable them to provide low cost imaging solutions even at the higher end of the market. However, even with increase in number of pixels (individual picture elements), the overall power dissipation of even low end cameras is increasing at a rapid pace. Reducing the power requirement is hence one of the most significant challenges in the next generation of cameras. Even more important, however, is the limited dynamic range of modern digital cameras. The human eye can faithfully record 9 orders of intensity, while most market popular digital cameras can barely manage 3 orders. This often leads to disappointing or even disastrous results.

Yet another limitation of the present day camera has been the colour reproduction abilities. While for most low end commercial imaging, filters of red, blue and green provide a good enough image; however the same cannot be said for high end imaging applications. Furthermore with reduction in the feature size of pixels to less than 5 micrometers, the colour cross talk between pixels has been on the rise .

Therefore the next generation cameras need to be able to provide better colours for wide dynamic range and at lower cost. These requirements are often conflicting and very challenging with the present day design techniques.

It is in this challenging and interesting research area, that this European Doctorate in Image Sensors with Optical Nanotechnology at Glasgow and Awaiba (EDISON-GA) is proposed to provide training to next generation of image sensors designers with the know-how of nanofabrication, chip design as well as biomedical applications.