Sony Applies For a Patent that’s Basically a Foveon Sensor

L O L…

 

While quite a few people don’t exactly understand that large companies file patent after patent not because they are personally planning on using the technology… but because they might use it, they don’t want other people using it, and monetizing patents (Intellectual Property) is the new uber smart business practice they’ve come up with.

 

So today in patents that seem a little silly… Sony now has its own Foveon sensor like patent!

Sony has filed patent of structure and production process of a vertical color separation sensor using stacked layers of organic photoelectron conversion films.

【公開番号】特開2017-157801(P2017-157801A) crick here
【公開日】平成29年9月7日(2017.9.7)
【発明の名称】光電変換素子および光電変換素子の製造方法ならびに固体撮像装置

JPA_429157801_000035.gif
Sensor structure

Source: http://hi-lows-note.blog.so-net.ne.jp/archive/c2306109851-1

 

 

That is pretty similar to the technology Sigma already uses in its own cameras… it’s called a Foveon sensor…

 

To capture the color that other image sensors miss, Foveon X3® direct image sensors use three layers of pixels embedded in silicon. The layers are positioned to take advantage of the fact that silicon absorbs different wavelengths of light to different depths. The bottom layer records red, the middle layer records green, and the top layer records blue. Each stack of pixels directly records all of the light at each point in the image.


Click here for an Interactive Tutorial

Until now, all other image sensors have featured just one layer of pixels, capturing just one color per point the image. To capture color, the pixel sensors in CCD and CMOS image sensors are organized in a grid, or mosaic, resembling a three-color checkerboard. Each pixel is covered with a filter and records just one color—red, green, or blue.

Source: http://www.foveon.com/article.php?a=69

 

So both Sony and Sigma seem to be accomplishing the same thing, separating and recording multiple wavelengths of light, by different means.

The difference between Sony’s patent and Sigma’s already existing technology is that Sony plans on using organic, dye based, parts to record the different wavelengths of light hitting its sensor compared to Sigma’s approach which uses a kind of stacked silicon approach.

 

Foveon technology has never taken off, despite Sigma’s unwavering commitment to its own DSLR cameras, and people just don’t seem to feel the benefits are worth the cost. Criticism of Foveon sensors is easy to find, praise a bit harder.

 

Quite frankly I can’t help but think that this is not a technology Sony plans to implement any time soon. The use of dyes, just the dyes alone and despite the limited quantity that would be needed, would significantly raise the price of an imaging sensor. The prices of pigments like Quinacridone are only going up as the world economy firms and there aren’t as many suppliers as you might think.

Switching to an organic based sensor design would also require Sony to retool (or open an entirely new factory) one of the shining stars of its business… Sony’s imaging sensor business. I don’t think Sony wants to weigh down its cash cow just yet. New machines, new materials, employee training, practice production runs… who wants to deal with that? I’m guessing not Sony just now.

 

 

Anyways, here’s the patent filing…

Patent Filing - Japan Patent Office

Abstract
To provide a photoelectric conversion element and a solid-state imaging device capable of improving the S / N ratio and responsiveness.
A method for manufacturing a photoelectric conversion element according to an embodiment of the present disclosure includes forming a first electrode, forming an organic photoelectric conversion layer by coating using a solution containing a latent dye on a first electrode And a step of forming a second electrode on the organic photoelectric conversion layer.
(FIG.
000002
Claims
Claim:
  Forming a first electrode,
  A step of forming an organic photoelectric conversion layer by coating using a solution containing a latent dye on the first electrode,
  Forming a second electrode on the organic photoelectric conversion layer;
  ;
2. The method according to claim 1,
  The method of manufacturing a photoelectric conversion device according to claim 1, wherein the latent dye is an organic semiconductor material having hole transporting properties.
3. The method according to claim 2,
  2. The method for producing a photoelectric conversion element according to claim 1, wherein the latent dye has a protective group in at least one of R1 and R2 of the quinacridone derivative shown in the following formula (1).
Embedded image
000019

(R 1 and R 2 are each independently a hydrogen atom, an alkyl group, an aryl group, or a heterocyclic group, and R 3 and R 4 may be any, and there is no particular limitation, and, for example, each independently represents an alkyl chain, an alkenyl An alkynyl group, an aryl group, a cyano group, a nitro group, a silyl group, and two or more R 3 or R 4 may jointly form a ring, n 1 and n 2 are each independently 0 or 1 or more It is an integer.)
4. The method according to claim 3,
  The method for producing a photoelectric conversion element according to claim 3, wherein the protecting group is any one of a substituted or unsubstituted alkyl group, alkenyl group, alkynyl group, cycloalkyl group, cycloalkenyl group or aralkyl group.
5. The method according to claim 1,
  5. The method for producing a photoelectric conversion element according to claim 4, wherein the protecting group is a tert-butoxycarbonyl group.
6. The method according to claim 1,
  The method for producing a photoelectric conversion element according to claim 1, wherein the solution further contains at least one of subphthalocyanine or a subphthalocyanine derivative, subnaphthalocyanine or subnaphthalocyanine derivative, phthalocyanine or phthalocyanine derivative, and porphyrin or porphyrin derivative. Method.
7. The method according to claim 6,
  The method for producing a photoelectric conversion device according to claim 1, wherein the solution further contains at least one kind of fullerene, a fullerene derivative and a polymer compound.
8. The method according to claim 7,
  The method of manufacturing a photoelectric conversion device according to claim 1, wherein the solution further comprises an organic semiconductor material having a shallower HOMO level than the latent dye.
9. The method according to claim 8,
  The method for manufacturing a photoelectric conversion device according to claim 8, wherein the organic semiconductor material having a shallower HOMO level than the latent dye is a polymer compound.
10. The method according to claim 9,
  2. The method for producing a photoelectric conversion element according to claim 1, wherein the solution is applied and then a heat treatment is performed.
11. The method according to claim 9,
  A first electrode and a second electrode arranged to face each other,
  An organic photoelectric conversion layer formed using a latent dye between the first electrode and the second electrode and
  .
12. The method according to claim 11,
  Each pixel including one or a plurality of organic photoelectric conversion units,
  The organic photoelectric conversion unit may include:
  A first electrode and a second electrode arranged to face each other,
  A photoelectric conversion layer formed using a latent dye between the first electrode and the second electrode; and
  State imaging device.
13. The method according to claim 11,
  In each pixel, one or more of the organic photoelectric conversion units and one or more inorganic photoelectric conversion units performing photoelectric conversion in a wavelength range different from that of the organic photoelectric conversion unit are laminated. .
14. The method according to claim 13,
  Wherein the inorganic photoelectric conversion unit is embedded in a semiconductor substrate,
  The solid-state imaging device according to claim 13, wherein the organic photoelectric conversion unit is formed on a first surface side of the semiconductor substrate.
15.
  15. The solid-state imaging device according to claim 14, wherein a multilayer wiring layer is formed on the second surface side of the semiconductor substrate.
16. The method according to claim 14,
  The organic photoelectric conversion unit performs photoelectric conversion of green light,
  15. The solid-state imaging device according to claim 14, wherein an inorganic photoelectric conversion unit that performs photoelectric conversion of blue light and an inorganic photoelectric conversion unit that performs photoelectric conversion of red light are stacked in the semiconductor substrate.
17.
  The solid-state imaging device according to claim 12, wherein in each pixel, a plurality of the organic photoelectric conversion units that perform photoelectric conversion in mutually different wavelength ranges are stacked.


Source: https://www.j-platpat.inpit.go.jp/web/PU/JPA_H29157801/TKBS_GM302_Detailed.action

 

The use of Quinacridone, a red to purple-ish colored pigment, in dye form inside the sensor is certainly interesting… I just wish patent applications were designed to give real world information so that we could actually understand how Sony means to use, manufacture, and implement dye based parts.

 

But hey… secrecy is more important than knowledge!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply