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Your location: Home > Related Articles > Phlux’s development of antimony based sensors can enhance the performance of LiDAR systems

Phlux’s development of antimony based sensors can enhance the performance of LiDAR systems

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-01 Click:32

According to foreign media reports, Phlux Technology, a company spun off from the University of Sheffield in the UK, has received support from a group of deep technology investors and plans to push its revolutionary infrared sensors to the mass market, which will revolutionize robots and autonomous driving machines. The high-performance sensors designed by the company surpass silicon-based sensors and raised £ 4 million in a seed round financing led by Octopus Ventures.

Phlux Technology has separated from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, a global semiconductor research and development center, and developed infrared sensors using the semi metallic element antimony, which can greatly improve their performance when used in LiDAR systems. Lidar system is a technology for controlling and navigating autonomous driving machines such as cars and robots.

This sensor is an antimony based LiDAR sensor chip. Compared with silicon-based sensors, its architecture has increased sensitivity by 10 times, expanded detection range by 50%, and its design has also reduced the manufacturing cost of LiDAR sensors, making it suitable for the mass market. The new sensor solves the limitations of silicon-based sensors and strives to achieve low-cost autonomous driving applications.

The infrared sensors researched by Phlux and others can be used for satellite communication in addition to laser radar, and can make possible applications such as Internet, optical fiber telecommunications, autonomous vehicle, gas sensing and quantum communication in remote areas.

How Phlux overcomes the limitations of silicon-based sensors

Phlux Technology was founded by CEOs Ben White, Professor Jo Shien Ng, and Professor Chee Hing Tan. They met while researching new semiconductor materials and equipment for infrared detection at the University of Sheffield. Unlike Moore's Law in the semiconductor industry, which states that the performance of semiconductors improves every 18 months, the performance of infrared sensors (InGaA) has reached a bottleneck period.

After more than 10 years of studying silicon alternatives, the founder of the company discovered that antimony is a material that can revolutionize the LiDAR sensor market, opening up the 1550 nanometer infrared band to achieve higher sensitivity and capacity, as it can operate within the electromagnetic spectrum range that is "eye safe". Compared to silicon-based emitters, antimony based sensors can safely emit 1000 times more photons, allowing for longer distances, higher pixel density, and lower costs.

In the first stage of commercialization, Phlux developed single element sensors with high sensitivity, which can be modified into today's LiDAR systems and will be part of its Phyllo series product line.

Phlux's long-term goal is to build a high-performance sensor toolkit that integrates subsystems and array modules. In the next year, the company will expand its engineering team to include manufacturing, optics, and testing teams.