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The first room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum has the potential to put heat vision technology into a contact lens.
Unlike comparable mid- and far-infrared detectors currently on the market, the detector developed by University of Michigan engineering researchers doesn't need bulky cooling equipment to work.
"We can make the entire design super-thin," said Zhaohui Zhong, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science. "It can be stacked on a contact lens or integrated with a cell phone."
To make the device, they put an insulating barrier layer between two graphene sheets. The bottom layer had a current running through it. When light hit the top layer, it freed electrons, creating positively charged holes. Then, the electrons used a quantum mechanical trick to slip through the barrier and into the bottom layer of graphene.
The positively charged holes, left behind in the top layer, produced an electric field that affected the flow of electricity through the bottom layer. By measuring the change in current, the team could deduce the brightness of the light hitting the graphene. The new approach allowed the sensitivity of a room-temperature graphene device to compete with that of cooled mid-infrared detectors for the first time.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961
reply to post by KilgoreTrout
Yeah there is current technology that does the same, night-vision goggles for example, this would allow miniaturization drastically, i dont think to a contact level lense but who knows.
Potential applications include lightweight, thin, flexible, yet durable display screens, electric circuits, and solar cells, as well as various medical, chemical and industrial processes enhanced or enabled by the use of new graphene materials.
In 2008, graphene produced by exfoliation was one of the most expensive materials on Earth, with a sample with the area of the cross section of a human hair costing more than $1,000 as of April 2008 (about $100,000,000/cm2). Since then, exfoliation procedures have been scaled up, and now companies sell graphene in large quantities. The price of epitaxial graphene on SiC is dominated by the substrate price, which was approximately $100/cm2 as of 2009.
reply to post by jimmyx
Did you read the source? there are no contact lenses.
Even if someone ever make contacts for this purpose why do you think graphene would ever be in contact with the eyes? graphene is less than 1 nm thick, it requires 2 layers for this application, contacts are around 1mm