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Canon Patent Application: Organic stacked sensor
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Canon Patent Application: Organic stacked sensor

Stacked sensors are almost becoming like a pink unicorn.  We read about them, but we haven't seen any in the field yet. There should be absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that Canon is actively pursuing stacked sensors and stacking technology as we have shown many different patent applications dealing with stacked sensors, and resolving issues with them.

Another area of research from Canon has been organic sensors.   Most of the patent applications we have uncovered seem to be a the high end of theoretical, discussing the organic chemical compounds, and not really placing it all together in a sensor.

This patent application combines both.  In this patent application Canon talks about a stacked organic sensor.

Generally, the imaging apparatus such as digital still cameras and digital video cameras, CCD or CMOS type imaging element is used. In general, the image pickup element is configured to photoelectrically convert light incident on a photodiode (hereinafter referred to as PD) formed on a semiconductor substrate for each pixel to read the signal amount of each pixel. With the recent increase in the number of pixels of the image pickup device, the light receiving area of ​​the PD for each pixel tends to decrease, and the decrease in the light receiving area is undesirable because it directly leads to a decrease in the sensitivity of the image pickup element. Therefore, in order to widen the light receiving area for each pixel, a stacked type image pickup element has been proposed (for example, Patent Document 1). In this image sensor, a lower electrode, an upper electrode facing the lower electrode, a color filter are stacked above the semiconductor substrate, and an organic photoelectric conversion film is formed between the lower electrode and the upper electrode.

Like with all the patent applications we find, the technology may not enter into production or even on an actual camera, it could be for industrial or vehicle applications, however it does show technologies that are being actively researched at Canon.

Japan Patent Application 2018-133357

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How to view Japan Patent applications.

Unfortunately, there's no direct way of linking to the patent application (sad!) however, this is the easiest process to view a japan patent or application.

  1. Go to the Japan Patent Office search page.
  2. If it's a patent application (they are usually in the format of Year-Number ie: 2017-011300) then type the patent application number into the second field down from the top where it says publication of patent application. 
  3. Click on search.
  4. Then click on the patent application number link, and there's the patent application!

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