They’re not here yet, but Dr. Zhong says that advances in nanotechnology and night vision tech using the material graphene may open the door to ultra-thin night vision contacts. Oh, and if you want to know more about graphene, you might enjoy reading this.
“We can make the entire design super-thin,” Dr. Zhaohui Zhong, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university, said in a written statement. “It can be stacked on a contact lens or integrated with a cell phone.”
The key to the new technology is a lightweight and super-strong form of carbon known as graphene. Ordinarily, graphene absorbs only about 2.3 percent of light that hits it — not enough to generate a usable infrared signal. But by combining two layers of graphene with an insulator, the researchers were able to boost the signal dramatically. Sensors made of sandwiched graphene can detect the full infrared spectrum, in addition to visible and ultraviolet light.
Zhong and his team have yet to integrate their technology into contact lenses, but he says the technological pathway to such devices is clear.
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