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New Graphene Imager based on Graphene-on-wafer

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - G-IMAGER (New Graphene Imager based on Graphene-on-wafer)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-02-28

The main objective of the G-Imager project was to develop a cheaper and better performing camera for night-vision applications (automotive, improved safety), food industry, plastic waste sorting, mining industry, etc.

The idea was to combine graphene, a newly discovered nanomaterial, with photosensitive materials and integrate them with existing electronic platforms (CMOS technology) in order to build the core of the cameras.
Graphenea, Emberion and AMO worked together in order to accomplish the objectives set in the G-imager project and bring closer to the market a Graphene Imager product. Emberion's device wafers (based on CMOS technology) are shipped first to Graphenea for graphene deposition, then to AMO for graphene device fabrication, before being returned to Emberion for depositing the photosensitive material and building the camera core.

Graphenea optimized the graphene synthesis and transfer processes in order to achieve a high throughput with the required specifications for the imager product on 200mm wafers.

AMO mainly worked on the process development and validation of the graphene based IR imager. The process has been scaled up to 200 mm wafer size with a well-defined design rule and basic modules. The integration of graphene based FET on ASIC wafer has also been demonstrated with functional devices.

Emberion developed the photosensitive absorber stack on 200mm ASIC wafers, along with a semiconductor hermetic package to protect the sensor die from water and oxygen. Emberion designed the custom readout integrated circuit (ROIC) used in device readout and has integrated the packaged sensor dies into a camera core, which was then been used to create a full camera. Evaluation versions of the camera have been sold to a number of customers and the first shipments are planned in Q5.
Currently there are no graphene based imager products in the market and current products are based on InGaAs which is extremely expensive, requires cooling and performance is not broadband, making the cameras quite bulky. The low-cost manufacturing model proposed in the G-Imager project will allow to disrupt the incumbent IR photodetector technology market based upon InGaAs, which will allow for safety improvements, e.g. in automotive applications, autonomous vehicles and search and rescue applications where visibility and object detection can be improved. When used in machine vision and plastic waste identification and sorting applications, Emberion’s IR cameras will lead to reduction of plastic waste going into landfill.
Fully assembled camera electronics and camera core into camera body