Interested in digital camera research, biomedical
imaging through tissue using optics, or getting a hands
introduction to how micro-chips and micro-optical sensors are
made? Then get some real lab experience
from NSERC summer positions which are available in three areas.. Depending
there may be more than one student per project.
Students selected for these projects will receive a NSERC
funding of $8512. The descriptions
are below or download this page for a description of all 3
For PDF Description, NSERC USRA 2021 with Glenn Chapman
|Defective pixel effect in digital camera
||Cosmic Ray path (SEU) created in Digital
interested in digital photography or optical sensors? Or would
you like to make complex chips more reliable? We are exploring
ways of ways of improving both digital sensors and regular chips
using the CMOS Sensors (Active Pixel Sensors) in Digital
Cameras, including cell phone cameras. There three areas
we are working on: the identification of permanent defects as
cameras age, the creating new ways to recover the missing pixel
information and using these camera sensors to identify regular
chip defects called Single Event Upsets (SEUs). As the
digital camera sensors become larger, but their pixels become
smaller, the probability of pixel defects increases over the
lifetime of the sensor. These defects in both cameras and
regular chips is Cosmic Rays, particle radiation from outer
space that hits the earth. When these high energy
particles hit microchips they create either temporary defects
(Single Event Upset) that cause the chip to give wrong
computations, or if really high energy, permanently damage the
chip (see images above). In cameras these cause defective
or dead pixels. People do not want to throw away expensive
cameras just because they have dead pixels in it, but find such
dead spots annoying in pictures. In chips the SEUs create real
problems in real time systems such as encryption. Digital
cameras let us explore both the temporary (SEU) and permanent
effects of this radiation on microchips. Previous students have
also been part of published conference papers on these results
and part of it has resulted in a patent application.
Want to learn more about defects in cameras Ė go to the the Image
Sensor overview paper1 and Imager
SEU paper 2 for a more complete introduction.:
Depending on the studentís background this project would range from:
(1) Experimental testing of digital cameras to identify and evaluate defects. This can include hardware development for the testing, and software development to run the tests (controlling the cameras).
(2) Developing software programs to analyze the image data to locate the defects, and extract their parameters.
(3) Developing algorithms and software for recovering the true image hidden by the defect.
(4) Experimental testing of already fabricated chips with new Active Pixel Sensor designs. This includes both optical, and electronic measurements
(5) The design of new pixel cells (if they have a taken ENSC 450 VLSI design)
Previous summer students have also been part of published conference papers on these results (including one that is part of a patent application), and the project can be expanded into a BASc thesis. 40% of the students working on NSERC summer projects in this group have gone on to win NSERC graduate scholarships, in part aided by their research.
Student should be in third year or above. Some combination of the following skills are needed, but not all are required (i.e. if you have all but 470, 460 or 450 that is fine). The skill set will determine the type of project. If you at taking these courses below in spring 2011 that is fine.
(1) A background in digital photography is very helpful, and a general liking of experimental work.
(2) Experience with adobe photoshop, or digital raw files valuable
(3) Good computer skills, Spreadsheets & Matlab and/or C programming very helpful.
(4) Taken an Optics courses: Optical and Laser Engineering Applications (ENSC 470), or an advanced optics from physics (for students making and designing more complicated optical systems.)
(5) Eng. Physics or Electronics background (for the micro-optics).
(6) ENSC 450 VLSI design important for the device design/simulation project area.
USRA Project 2: Studying New Optical Chemical
With Prof. Glenn Chapman (ENSC)
This project is for
students who want to gain
experience in optical and chemical sensor methods to detect
levels of chemicals (eg Ammonia) with optical techniques. A common way
of finding the presence of some
gases or biological materials is to synthesize a specialized
changes its colour when exposed to the target agent. Think of the test
strips you used in basic
chemistry where the paper changed colour in the presence of
expansion of this is materials that when
hit by deep violet or ultraviolet laser light glow a
specific color Ė this is
called fluorescence. The
shows a material that we are working on that changes from a
originally to a bright greenish one when exposed to Ammonia
Ė an important
chemical to detect for industry.
However, that full colour change only occurs at high concentrations of the gas and the smaller the gas concentration the less the colour change. If you want to measure very low concentrations (parts per million) of ammonia then you get an emission spectrum (light intensity versus wavelength) that is a mixture of both colours in these type of sensors. In a cooperative project between Chemistry and ENSC we have developed new methods of measuring the change in that spectrum with the exposure, which allows us to detect parts per million of ammonia. This metric can be generally applied to any fluorescence detection so we want to explore both applying this to a wide range of materials and increasing the accuracy in some regions.
Note we are setting these up so that in the event that COVID-19 is still restricting travel to SFU throughout the term this work can be done from your home until the labs are open. Depending on the studentís background this project would range from:
(1) Taking our current experimental results (spectrums) obtained by a graduate student and exploring those to give us better accuracy. There are regions (ranges of gas density) where the sensitivity is modest with the current equations we use. However, we have found that we can improve sensitivity in those regions greatly by switching to a different analysis equation of the spectrum there. Students here would work with our team to develop need ways of looking at the spectrums in those regions to develop more sensitive equations.
(2) Our Chemistry coauthors are really good at creating new compounds that are tuned to emit different colours (wavelength spectrums) in the unexposed and exposed conditions. We are using our current measurements to create a general model of how to tune this change in colour to make it more sensitive. For example, is it more important to have the two colours far apart (ie one really violet and the other redder) or to have one emit its colour more strongly than the other, or combinations of both. If we can predict this we can tell the chemists how we want the materials to behave for maximum sensitivity. This would open some exciting new research.
(3) If Covid restrictions are reduced in the summer and we can get back into the labs then a student with the right background can move onto taking optical measurements of how the materialís spectrum changes at different concentrations of gases. The apparatus has been developed by a graduate student so we be trying new measurement ranges of gases, and potentially new materials suggested by the analysis suggested in part 2.
Previous project students (both undergrad and graduate) have also been part of published conference papers on these results. In addition, this has generated an undergraduate thesis.
Student should be in third year or above. Some combinations of the following skills are needed, but not all of them:
(1) Good computer skills for PC based systems: spreadsheets & Matlab and/or C programming. Optics background is really needed for the part (3) option above
(2) Taken an introductory or advanced Optics courses from physics or engineering science (eg ENSC 470)
(3) Experience with adobe photoshop is useful though not required.
(4) Electronics, Eng Physics or biomed background is best
(5) Taken an introductory statistics course (eg. ENSC 280)
This project is for students who want to gain experience in optical and chemical sensor methods to detect very sensitive levels of chemicals (eg Ammonia) with optical techniques. A common way of finding the presence of some gases or biological materials is to synthesize a specialized compound that changes its colour when exposed to the target agent. Think of the test strips you used in basic chemistry where the paper changed colour in the presence of acids. An expansion of this is materials that when hit by deep violet or ultraviolet laser light glow a specific color Ė this is called fluorescence. The figure bellows shows a material that we are working on that changes from a purple glow originally to a bright greenish one when exposed to Ammonia Ė an important chemical to detect for industry.