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Scalable SWIR Sensing Key to Sustained Growth in Machine Vision Sector, Says Quantum Science

Quantum Science, the leader in infrared quantum dot (QD) technology, has underlined the need for rapid innovation in components in the machine vision industry.

Discussing the key challenges that will emerge for the machine vision sector over the next few years, Quantum Science identifies innovation as the main driver necessary to sustain market growth.

With high performance short-wave infrared (SWIR) cameras increasingly important for machine vision applications – but existing technologies held back by prohibitive costs – major players looking to reignite expansion need to start exploring alternative solutions.

Dr Hao Pang, CEO and Founder of Quantum Science, said: “Following a tumultuous period of market volatility, machine vision businesses are seeking new solutions to mitigate lost productivity and keep pace with their competitors. For too long, the cost of SWIR solutions like InGaAs has presented a huge barrier in the machine vision sector, and looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, this technology alone will not be sufficient to keep pace with demand.

“Driven by the need for high-performance cameras capable of perceiving SWIR wavelengths, there has never been a more pressing need for alternative imaging and sensing technologies to emerge. From our perspective it’s clear; machine vision businesses must prioritise innovation and look to cost-effective and scalable SWIR technology like quantum dots to provide the answer they are looking for.”

Realising the applications unlocked by low-cost SWIR sensing, several machine vision industry players have already begun adopting this technology for their SWIR camera technology.

Unlike InGaAs sensors, which often sell at around $10,000 per unit, infrared QDs offer high SWIR sensitivity at a fraction of the cost.

Quantum Science’s INFIQ® infrared QD technology enables next-generation imaging and sensing for applications including semiconductor inspection, food quality monitoring, gas detection, and more. Tuneable to wavelengths from 800 nm to 2,400 nm+, these nanoscale semiconductor materials offer increased resolution and performance, at around 100-1,000 times less cost than InGaAs sensors.

Since moving into its new production laboratory in Daresbury this year, Quantum Science has been creating INFIQ® QDs in the kilogram scale – enough to supply millions of SWIR sensors every year.

This level of production is possible due to the unique formulation process used in INFIQ® technology, which enables QDs to be deposited in a single layer rather than in 14-16, overcoming the high-waste, low-yield barriers of traditional QD synthesis methods.

Dr Pang added: “The SWIR industry is a hotbed of innovation. The rapid progress in infrared QD technology we are seeing makes SWIR sensing not just accessible to machine vision businesses, compared with InGaAs, it becomes the obvious solution to supplying the number of sensors that will be needed in the years to come.

“As the machine vision market develops, Quantum Science stands ready to offer its support. With unmatched QD production capacity and performance, INFIQ® QDs offer unparalleled resolution and image quality for SWIR sensors at a fraction of the price of existing InGaAs solutions, and as the industry moves forward, innovations such as these will help machine vision players thrive.”


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