Detecting near-UV and near-IR wavelengths with the FOVEON image sensor
Cheak, Seck Fai
Olsen, Richard C.
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Traditionally, digital imaging systems rely on the use of dedicated photodetectors to capture specific wavelengths in the visible spectrum. These photodetectors, which are commonly made of silicon, are arranged as arrays to capture the red, green and blue wavelengths. The signal captured by the individual photodetectors must then be interpolated and integrated to obtain the closest color match and the finest possible resolution with reference to the actual object. The use of spatially separated detectors to sense primary colors reduces the resolution by a factor of three compared to black and white imaging. The FOVEON detector technology greatly improves the color and resolution of the image through its vertically arranged, triple well photodetector. This is achieved by exploiting the variation of absorption coefficient of silicon with wavelength in the visible spectrum. Hence, in a silicon detector, the shorter wavelength (e.g. blue) would be mainly absorbed at a shallow depth. A longer wavelength (e.g. red) would penetrate the material deeper than the shorter wavelengths and be primarily absorbed at a greater depth. By producing a layered silicon detector, all three primary colour wavelengths of red, green and blue can be captured simultaneously. This thesis aims to study the FOVEON camera's ability to image light from the near Infrared (NIR) to the Ultra-Violet (UV) range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The imaged obtained using a set of bandpass filters show that the camera has response both in the UV as well as NIR regions.
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