The first room-temperature, high-sensitivity infrared photodetector has been designed by a team of researchers in the US. The device is based on the "wonder material" graphene and works across the full infrared spectrum. The detector is thin, flexible and transparent, making it highly suitable for applications including wearable electronics, according to the team. The researchers are currently developing an infrared camera by building an array with their graphene photodetectors.
Graphene is a layer of carbon just one atom thick and since it was first isolated in 2004 its remarkable electronic and mechanical properties have been studied by physicists worldwide. Zhaohui Zhong, Ted Norris and colleagues from the University of Michigan have been developing photodetectors that can take advantage of graphene's unique material properties, including its ultra-broadband light-absorption capability. As graphene is a semimetal, it is capable of absorbing light across a wide spectrum – from ultraviolet to far infrared. This is unlike conventional photodetectors, which are made from semiconductors that can only absorb light at specific wavelengths.There will be some amazing technology springing from this. To read more, click here.