Seeing The Invisible With A Graphene-CMOS Integrated Device

Silicon based CMOS (Complementary metal-oxide semiconductors) technology has truly shaped our world. It enables most of the electronics that we rely on today including computers, smartphones and digital cameras. However, to continue the path of progress in the electronics industry new technology must be developed and a key feature of this is the ability to integrate CMOS with other semiconductors. Now, Graphene Flagship researchers from ICFO (The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona) have shown that it is possible to integrate graphene into a CMOS integrated circuit. In their paper published in the journal Nature Photonics they combine this graphene-CMOS device with quantum dots to create an array of photodetectors, producing a high resolution image sensor. When used as a digital camera this device is able to sense UV, visible and infrared light at the same time. This is just one example of how this device might be used, others include in microelectronics, sensor arrays and low-power photonics. “The development of this monolithic CMOS-based image sensor represents a milestone for low-cost, high-resolution broadband and hyperspectral imaging systems” ICREA Professor at ICFO, Frank Koppens, highlights. He assures that “in general, graphene-CMOS technology will enable a vast amount of applications, that range from safety, security, low cost pocket and smartphone cameras, fire control systems, passive night vision and night surveillance cameras, automotive sensor systems, medical imaging applications, food and pharmaceutical inspection to environmental monitoring, to name a few”. These results were enabled by the collaboration between Graphene Flagship Partner Graphenea (a Spanish graphene supplier) and ICFO, within the optoelectronics workpackage of the Graphene Flagship.”