Fujifilm Develops New Image Sensor Technology for Digicams
Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, has developed a new basic technology for a new type of image sensor that ensures 3x higher sensitivity and richer color depth than conventional image sensors, reports PhotoImaging Enterprises Association International's PEN News Weekly.
In today's digital cameras, images are captured and converted into digital signals by triplets of CCDs placed side by side -- one each for red, green, and blue. It is difficult for ordinary photographers to realize that a digital image captured with a digital camera has less depth than pictures taken with film in which the photosensitive pigments for the three primary colors of red, green, and blue are layered above one another, but pro photographers can recognize this.
Adopting the same concept of layering, the new image sensor developed by Fujifilm uses organic pigments reacting to red, green and blue light. The pigments are sandwiched between transparent electrodes and stacked above one another. When light enters each pigment layer, electric current flows between the electrodes, and the electric current is then converted into digital signals.
Fujifilm has made a prototype image sensor containing a green-reacting pigment. It yields monochrome pictures having the same depth as photo film, and is now making prototype elements for red and blue light as well. The company has filed a patent application on the basic technology and hopes to commercialize new image sensors in three to four years, says PEN News Weekly.