Quantum Dots to Improve the Picture

Quantum Dots Could Radically Increase Quality Of Cellphone Photos.

The New York Times (3/22, B6, Vance) reports on California-based InVisage Technologies, which “has spent more than three years trying to build a proprietary film that coats the image sensors used in cellphone cameras and allows them to capture more light.” The endeavor is “a rare commercial use” of quantum dots. According to Jess Lee, the chief executive of InVisage, “with such technology, the current three-megapixel camera found in the Apple iPhone could be turned into a 12-megapixel camera that works better in varying light conditions.”

The Wired (3/22, Ganapati) “Gadget Lab” blog reports, “A quantum dot is a nanocrystal made of a special class of semiconductors” that “allows manufacturers to have a very high degree of control over its conductive properties, and is about 90% efficient at absorbing light, according to Lee.” InVisage’s design involves the suspension of these quantum dots in a fluid, which it then “spins it onto a layer of silicon [and] adds the required metal circuitry to create a new type of sensor that it is calling QuantumFilm.” A number of sources including the CNET News (3/22, Shankland) “Deep Tech” blog, Technology Review (3/22, Greene) and the Wall Street Journal (3/22, Clark) “Digits” blog also report the story.

Reposted from the March 22, 2010 ASEE First Bell.

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