We recently spoke to Dr. Gerhard Holst, Senior Imaging Product & Application Scientist at Excelitas, to get discuss his upcoming presentation at Image Sensors Europe 2023 and to get his view on the major challenges coming up in the industry.
Dr. Holst, you'll be speaking about 'Challenges of cameras for scientific applications' at this year's conference. Can you give us a snapshot of what delegates will hear?
Since we are developing and manufacturing for more than 30 years for scientific applications, test & measurements and quality control applications, I want to talk about actual developments and challenges in the area of low readout noise, highly sensitive, high dynamic range and high-speed type of cameras.
Due to new pixel architecture concepts and improvements in semiconductor process technologies, image sensors have been developed that allow photon counting and intra-scene dynamic ranges of more than 14bit. Further more, new spectral ranges from extreme UV up to short-wave-infrared become accessible with new image sensors.
What do you see as the major challenges for, and breakthroughs in, image sensor technology advancements in the short to medium term?
The maturation of the stacking technology allows the creation of new combinations of image sensors, take as an example the new SWIR InGaAs image sensors with 5µm pitch, which will make SWIR image sensors more accessible through lower prices. Further more, the concepts of scientific CMOS, SPAD arrays or the quanta or 'jot' image sensors allow the informational exploitation of even a few photons to create an image. All this will be combined with the request for high resolution and high frame rates in the future.
What are you most looking forward to hearing about and discussing with your fellow speakers and delegates at this year's conference next month?
After the pandemic period of COVID, it's good to meet colleagues from the industry to talk and exchange information, learn about new trends and technologies to be prepared for the future requirements of our customers.
Gerhard Holst graduated at the Technical University Aachen, Germany, with a Diploma in Electrical Engineering in 1991 and went on to complete his Doctorate at the University of Dortmund in collaboration with the Max-Planck-Institute for Systemphysiology in Dortmind, Germany.
From 2001-2021, Gerhard was head of the research and science department at PCO AG, where he was responsible for new technologies, all research and also sensor projects, like the development of sCMOS image sensors. Since the acquisition by Excelitas in 2021, Gerhard is responsible for ongoing research grants and product manager.