LONDON Scientists at the University of Glasgow have received funding to investigate ways of improving the quality of digital camera images through the use of atomic-scale vibration effects.
The team, led by Professor David Cumming and Tim Drysdale from the university’s department of electronics and electrical engineering, will take advantage of a phenomenon called plasmon resonance in their efforts to create a microchip for cameras and other imaging equipment that will produce higher quality and more color-precise images.
The project is being funded through a £500,000 (about $750,000) grant from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council and is supported by Sharp Laboratories Europe and Oxford University and is due to last three-and-a-half years.
Plasmon resonance refers to an interaction produced when light waves fall on a metal surface, or in this case, the thin metal film used above CMOS microchip image sensors.
When light shines on the metal film, electrons on the surface absorb the energy of the light waves and begin oscillating in groups. The resultant combined waves are called plasmons and they modify the light distribution around the metal. An underlying CMOS sensor can be used to measures the light in a conventional manner but higher sensitivity.