Graphene based Infra-red sensors for Night vision contact lens
Infrared sensors used for the Infrared imaging process involves multiple technologies to view the complete range (low, mid and high) of Infrared spectrum. These infrared sensors detect radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (9–14 µm) and they produce the images of that radiation, called as thermograms. Thermograms are used for medical purposes to monitor blood pressure, chemical imaging, building inspection, non-destructive testing or military applications to see in the dark
Engineers at the University of Michigan used a material, graphene, to develop infrared sensors which when inserted in contact lenses will provide the user with night vision. This material, graphene, is formed from a single layer of carbon atoms, and can detect the full spectrum of light, including infrared. The Infrared sensor detects light by measuring the behavior of electrons and changes in current between two layers of the material separated by an insulator.
Usually infrared sensors such as those found in night-vision goggles require bulky cooling to prevent the devices overheating, increasing their size. However, the graphene sensors do not require cooling so can be produced as small as a fingernail and developed to be tinier still. Owing to their small size, the sensors could be embedded into contact lenses or mobile phones camera lenses and used to create imagery in completely dark environments.
The following transcript is taken from the journal Nature Nanotechnology;
"The challenge for the current generation of graphene-based detectors is that their sensitivity is typically very poor," Zhaohui Zhong said. "It's a hundred to a thousand times lower than what a commercial device would require. Even though the technology has already been scaled down, don't expect night vision contact lenses in the next few years. Sensitivity and performance still needs to be improved, and it'd require lots of work to build a product that could function properly outside of the lab. "
The device is described in a paper titled "Graphene photo detectors with ultra-broadband and high responsivity at room temperature," which appears online. The launch of infrared contact lenses just like in some spy or Sci-Fi movie can be anticipated to be near than far.
· Infrared Sensors Market Analysis: By Range (SWIR, MWIR, LWIR, FWIR); Types (PIR, Thermopile, Pyroelectric, Photo Reflector); Application (Automotive, Healthcare, Semiconductors, Telecommunications, Manufacturing) - Forecast (2015-2020) http://industryarc.com/Report/119/infrared-sensors-market-report.html