According to a March 22, 2010 article in Scientific American, a nanotechnology known as "quantum dots" might hold the secret to making the sensors in cameras smaller and much more efficient.
Now, as described in the May 21, 2015 video above, engineers at a Menlo Park California lab, operated by a nine year old company called InVisage, have developed a material that they call Quantam Film - which is a thin layer of quantum dots suitable for use in small camera sensors. InVisage thinks Quantum Film could improve the light-capturing performance of camera sensors by 4 times over current CMOS sensors.
As described in an Oct. 25th, 2015 post to nofilmschool: "The problem with traditional CMOS sensors arises in the fact that silicon-coated sensors become more inefficient at transmitting light as they become more pixel-dense, which is a natural byproduct of consumers' demand for higher and higher resolution cameras." Because Quantum Film sits on top of the silicon layer, as InVisage founder Ted Sargent explained to Scientific American: "The light no longer needs to reach the silicon wafer, which is now only used for its excellent electronic properties."
In other words, a layer of quantum dots (spread into what InVisage is calling Quantum Film) positioned right after the color filter (that splits the light into Red, Green and Blue for digital processing) might vastly improve a pixel's ability to capture light. If that is true, and the manufacturing hurdles can be met - the current barriers of light-loss and pixel-density in small active-pixel sensors (APS) could be about to fall.