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Infrared sensor spin-out firm to lower cost of SWIR imagers

RTI International, a US non-profit research institute, has spun out a venture company, SWIR Vision Systems, to commercialise RTI’s infrared camera technology.

RTI's Colloidal Quantum Dot (CQD) infrared sensors are based on novel and commercially scalable image sensor materials.

The sensors are fabricated by depositing CQD semiconductor crystals from solution directly onto the surface of silicon CMOS circuitry. The resulting monolithic photodetector structure enables higher resolution and eliminates the prohibitively expensive hybridisation process inherent to InGaAs sensors.

SWIR Vision Systems plans to commercialise its Acuros SWIR-band cameras, with resolutions of VGA, one megapixel, and HD offered. The cameras are classified as non-ITAR, EAR99 products, and are intended for use in applications including industrial machine vision, security, and agricultural imaging, among others.

‘Acuros cameras will dramatically expand the imaging toolkit for machine vision integrators, disrupting the cost and performance curve for vision systems design,’ said George Wildeman, the new CEO of SWIR Vision Systems.

Wildeman is a photonics industry executive and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of technology commercialisation experience.

Dr Ethan Klem will be the company’s chief technology officer. Klem led the research and development programme for the sensors during his tenure at RTI and will continue to spearhead the technical programme with the new company.

The company will manufacture the cameras at its Research Triangle Park, NC operations centre. The technology was developed with grant support from the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

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