Technology and Fundamental Limits of Mobile Phone Cameras

Christian Dainty
March 20th, 2018 CHRISTOPHER DAINTY UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

When I started my career, in the mid-1960s, silver halide photography was the only way of forming a permanent record of an image. At that time, as at present, an issue was “what are the fundamental limits of imaging detectors”? I shall start this talk with a reminder of the importance of the still largely ignored quantity, the detective quantum efficiency (DQE), as a key measure of detector performance, equally important for modern CMOS sensors.

For the vast majority of people in the world, the best camera they have ever owned is in their current mobile phone. As in the 1960s, when DQE exposed the huge inefficiencies in silver halide photography, it is the fundamental laws of physics that limit the performance of smartphone cameras, and these laws act against the marketing-driven aspiration for thinner and thinner camera modules. In short, in optical imaging, a large collection diameter D is (usually) desirable; this is why astronomers build bigger and bigger telescopes. I will discuss these fundamental limitations in my talk.

**Talk will be followed by an informal discussion with the speaker at 3pm in the Blue lecture room.

Seminar, March 20, 2018, 12:00. ICFO’s Blue Lecture Room.