SiOnyx Successfully Demonstrates Pixel-Scale Light Detectors

SiOnyx Inc., in collaboration with the Army Research Office (ARO), has successfully demonstrated pixel-scale detectors with room temperature Detectivity (D) exceeding 1x10(14) Jones.

This represents a full 10x improvement over traditional silicon detectors, setting a record for performance that paves the way for SiOnyx to lead in new sponsored research programs with the Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Dr. A. Fenner Milton, the US Army NVESD's Director noted, "NVESD is interested in approaches to low light level imaging that have the potential for leveraging silicon technology to reduce costs."

SiOnyx is commercializing a fundamentally new semiconductor processing technique that represents a breakthrough in the development of smaller, cheaper, high-performing silicon photonic devices. Based on a novel laser implant method first discovered at Harvard and commonly referred to as 'Black Silicon,' SiOnyx's patented semiconductor process dramatically enhances the performance of light-sensing devices across a range of applications in the consumer, industrial, medical and defense industries. Under the ARO grant, SiOnyx has shown the applicability of its technology to CMOS image sensors and other mass-produced photonic devices used in demanding imaging and photo-detecting applications.

"Signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range dictate the ultimate performance in any photonic system," said Stephen Saylor, CEO of SiOnyx. "In applications ranging from medical imaging to digital photography, these basic device characteristics underlie the quality of experience. The record-setting results shown in our work with the ARO are astounding and demonstrate once again how SiOnyx's technology platform has the potential to dramatically alter performance in these multi-billion dollar industries."

With the completion of this milestone and resulting performance breakthroughs, SiOnyx is now leading newly sponsored programs with the US Army's NVESD and DARPA that will advance the use of Black Silicon in low light and infrared imaging.

Dr. Nibir Dhar, Program Manager in DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office, added, "High-performance, low-cost, small infrared cameras at room temperature will have significant impact on many aspects of modern war fighting. Black Silicon offers an enabling pathway in low-cost CMOS camera development for near-infrared applications."


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