Panasonic Corporation announced that it has developed a new technology, electrical control of the near infrared (NIR) light sensitivity of the same pixel in an organic CMOS image sensor. The sensitivity of all the pixels in the image sensor, which has directly stacked organic films, is simultaneously controlled by changing the applied voltage to the organic films.
This technology enables to switch between modes of colour imaging and NIR (Near Infra Red) imaging frame by frame without a mechanical IR cut filter required for conventional image sensors. This contributes to miniaturizing a camera system and improving the robustness. This technology also enables global shutter operation (do you have “déjá vu?”). Therefore, it can be suitable for applications (e.g. ANPR) in which fast and accurate inspection or recognition are necessary.
The development is based on the following technologies.
- The design technology of organic CMOS image sensors which enables to design the photoelectric conversion part and the readout circuit part independently.
- The sensitivity control technology which enables frame by frame switching between colour imaging mode and NIR imaging mode by changing the applied voltage to the photoelectric conversion part.
Night vision use for surveillance cameras
NIR imaging mode enables to capture clear images even in the too dark situation for the human eye to see. This contributes to improving the visibility of captured images by surveillance cameras in the night. And also, colour imaging mode enables to obtain RGB colour information*4 based on visible incident light with NIR sensitivity being OFF state. These modes can be switched in the same pixel by changing the applied voltage to it, so IR cut filter is not necessary for this image sensor.
We’re eager to see it in a CCTV camera!