Curved, shape-adaptive imager based on printed optoelectronic pixels

Credit: Rao et al.

A curved imager with adjustable shape can have many valuable applications, for example to assist in the development of more advanced medical imaging tools and cameras. However, most existing flexible curve imagers are either incompatible with adjustable focal planes or can only capture images at low resolutions and pixel fill factors.

Researchers at the University of Houston and the University of Colorado at Boulder recently said that shape-Adaptive imager with high pixel fill factor.New imager published in a treatise published in Nature ElectronicsWas manufactured by transferring an array of ultra-thin silicon optoelectronic pixels in a kirigami design to a curved surface using a technique known as conformal stamp printing.

“Curve image sensor-based cameras, such as the human-like eyeball, which consists of the retina and lens, have great expectations for many important applications,” said one of the researchers who conducted the research. One Cunjiang Yu said. “Nevertheless, the development of such a camera presents many technical challenges, such as high pixel fill factor and shape adjustability. This is a clear image without optical aberrations. These are the two features you need to capture. “

The purpose of a recent study by Yu and his colleagues is: Technical challenges Previously, I encountered it when trying to develop an imager that adapts to curves and shapes.In fact, in contrast to traditional digital cameras, curved image sensors usually require a combination of multiple complex lenses to obtain crisp, high resolution. image..

The curved imager developed by the researchers is inspired by the shape of the human eyeball. In fact, like the human eye, a winding camera must be created with a winding adaptive image sensor array and lens.

Curved, shape-adaptive imager based on printed optoelectronic pixels

Credit: Rao et al.

“Creating a curve imager using traditional or existing techniques can be very difficult,” Yu explained. “An important novelty of our winding imager is a novel, reliable and robust manufacturing technique called Conformal Additive Stamp (CAS) printing, invented by my research group.”

First, Yu and his colleagues used a mature microfabrication process to follow Kirikami’s design (that is, a variation of Japanese origami that also includes cutting paper to create 3D) and very thin planar shapes. You have created a 32 x 32 pixel image sensor array. Objects), not just collapsible. Researchers then used a technique called CAS printing to create a curved imager of the desired shape.

“By adjusting the focal length of the lens and the curvature of the imaging sensor (or imager) accordingly, we can achieve adaptive optics focus and reduce aberrations when imaging near and far objects. Because it exceeds the capacity of the eye, the human retina does not provide the same level of adjustability, “says Yu.

The curved imager shows a 78% curvilinear factor before stretching and can maintain electrical performance under 30% biaxial strain. In the future, there are many valuable applications such as supporting the development of more advanced and high-performance endoscopes and artificial retinas. Night vision goggles, Artificial compound eye camera and fisheye camera.

“Our work paves the way for an adjustable adaptive / adjustable imager with a winding shape. pixel “A fill factor that guarantees high-quality, low-optical aberration imaging capture,” said Yu. “Future research is aimed at other high-performance imaging sensor pixels and arrays, as well as the developments mentioned above. camera device. ”

Make an eyeball-like camera using kirigami antique art

For more information:
Curve shape adaptive imager based on optoelectronic pixels printed in a kirigami design. Nature Electronics(2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41928-021-00600-1

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Curved, shape-adaptive imager based on printed optoelectronic pixels

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