I’m starting to think graphene may very well be the greatest thing ever to emerge from a laboratory. The latest in a long line of advancements: researchers at Nanyang Technological University have developed a graphene image sensor that can detect broad spectrum light and allow cameras to take clear photos even in low light.
This can help provide sharper images for digital cameras, as well as those used for traffic monitoring/ticketing systems, infrared cameras, and satellite systems.
According to the researchers, the sensor is 1,000 times more sensitive to light that current imaging sensors, and uses one-tenth of the energy. It could also be as much as five times less expensive. The sensor was created by fabricating a graphene sheet into nanostructures. The graphene traps light-generated electron particles for longer periods of time, providing a clearer image in low light than is possible with CMOS or CCD sensors.
“While designing this sensor, we have kept current manufacturing practices in mind. This means the industry can in principle continue producing camera sensors using the CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) process, which is the prevailing technology used by the majority of factories in the electronics industry. Therefore manufacturers can easily replace the current base material of photo sensors with our new nano-structured graphene material.” —Assistant Professor Wang Qijie, NTU School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
You can read more about the sensor in last month’s Nature Communications.