Night-vision Contact Lenses May Come Soon

Night vision contact lenses may be an eye-opening development

Its the same material found in that No. 2 pencil you chewed on in school, but constructed so thinly that its actually considered two-dimensional. Graphene absorbs a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from infrared the wavelength picked up by NVGs that allows you to see in the dark to ultraviolet. 2.
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Could New Contact Lenses Provide “Night Vision” ?

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Researchers at the University of Michigan, Ted Norris and Zhaohui Zhong, have createda super-thin infrared light sensor using graphene an atom-thin material related to graphite that could be layered onto contact lenses. Grapheneabsorbs infrared rays and translates them into an electrical signal, in a similar fashion to how silicon chips work with visible light in a digital camera. The team of engineers and computer scientists placed an insulating layer between two graphene layers and then added electric current. When infrared light hits the layered product, its electrical reaction is amplified strongly enough to be converted into a visible image. If we integrate it with a contact lens or other wearable electronics, it expands your vision, said Zhong. It provides you another way of interacting with your environment. Night vision contacts are still years away the research needs to produce greater light sensitivity, as well as the ability to work in a broader range of temperatures. To move the project forward, Norris and Zhong say they need commercial or governmental partners beyond the initial support that came from the National Science Foundation.
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“It can be stacked on a contact lens or integrated with a cell phone.” In the future there wont be the need for bulky night vision goggles use by commandos and cat burglars. APThis undated publicity photo released by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. shows Navy SEALs seen through the greenish glow of night vision goggles, as they prepare to breach a locked door in Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Columbia Pictures’ hyper-realistic new action thriller from director Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty.” (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Jonathan Olley) The Independent reported : Previous attempts to use graphene in this way have suffered from the materials insensitivity towards parts of the light spectrum. The team from Michigans breakthrough was to create a sandwich of layers, with an insulating barrier placed between two slices of graphene and an electrical current sent through the bottom part. Why would you want night vision contact lenses?
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Incredibly thin, the width of a single atom, Graphene not only detects light in the infrared, but also visible light and ultraviolet. This would allow the wearer to see in a much broader way, in addition to our current visible world. Unfortunately, because it is so thin graphene can only absorb about 2.3 percent of the light that hits it which is not enough to generate an electrical signal. This signal is a must in order for it to operate as an infrared sensor. The challenge for the current generation of graphene-based detectors is that their sensitivity is typically very poor, said Zhaohui Zhong, assistant professor at the University of Michigan, in a press release. Its a hundred to a thousand times lower than what a commercial device would require. To clear this hurdle, researchers devised a new method for generating the electrical signal. According to the article published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, instead of trying to measure the electrons that are released when the light strikes the material, they amplified an electrical current that is near the electrical signals generated by the incoming light.
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