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NWO funding for improved image sensors

06 March 2024
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Prof. Maria Antonietta Loi

For research into better image sensors, Prof. Maria Antonietta Loi of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials will receive a EUR 1 million grant from the NWO Open Technology Program (OTP). With an interdisciplinary team, she will develop a type of image sensor for smartphones that can be used for important new tasks such as health monitoring, night vision and assisted autonomous driving.

Loi is coordinating the project, co-applicant is Dr. Loredana Protesescu. Industrial partners account for about EUR 240,000 of the total amount.

Protesescu: "With this exceptional team, we are going to overcome scientific and technological hurdles and deliver a new and cheap image sensor that will not only have a disruptive impact on society but also an enormous economic impact.”

Extended sensitivity

If image sensors similar to the ones present nowadays in every smartphone had extended sensitivity in the short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) region, they could be used for important tasks in among others consumer electronics, healthcare and agriculture. The team will develop new photodiodes and read-out electronics, and assemble them in image sensors that cover the useful spectral range, using processes and materials that result in an overall low-cost technology.

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Dr. Loredana Protesescu

Broad impact

Protesescu, in collaboration with industrial partner Quantum Solutions (QS), will work on designing and manufacturing quantum dots needed to make this highly sensitive prototype image sensor. She is excited to get started on the research: "With this exceptional team, we are going to overcome scientific and technological hurdles and deliver a new and cheap image sensor that will not only have a disruptive impact on society but also an enormous economic impact.” Prof. Loi focuses on device fabrication in collaboration with VisEra Technology Co. (VisERA), and New Imaging Technologies (NIT).

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Quantom Dots of different compositions used to make photodetectors.

Open Technology Program

The Open Technology Program provides funding for application-oriented technical-scientific research. Scientists from all disciplines can submit proposals, and various companies and partners can participate in a project by making a financial or material contribution. Research applications are submitted throughout the year. This round, a total of six research projects received funding.

Read NWO news here (in Dutch) 

Last modified:18 March 2024 2.36 p.m.
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