Graphene Creates Electricity When Struck by Light, Could Yield New Sensors

MIT scientists have discovered that graphene, a material consisting of one-atom thick sheets of carbon, produces electric current when struck by light. The researchers say the finding could impact a number of fields, including photography:

Graphene “could be a good photodetector” because it produces current in a different way than other materials used to detect light. It also “can detect over a very wide energy range,” Jarillo-Herrero says. For example, it works very well in infrared light, which can be difficult for other detectors to handle. That could make it an important component of devices from night-vision systems to advanced detectors for new astronomical telescopes.

No word on when DSLRs will start packing graphene sensors.

(via MIT via ExtremeTech)

P.S. Did you know that graphene was first discovered in 2004 after a thin layer of pencil lead was pulled off using some ordinary tape?

Image credit: Illustration by AlexanderAlUS

  • Anonymous

    “one-atom thick sheets of carbon”


    What a dichotomy.  

  • Jonas Schou Neergaard-Nielsen

    It also earned them a Nobel Prize…

  • Anonymous

    This is awesome! Potential use for the prototyped digital film canisters that were featured a bit back? I wonder how flexible the layer are and how the photosensitivity works…

  • Jan

    Is grabbing a pencil and some sticky tape and is going to upgrade his DSLR sensor ;-)

  • kendon

    is it me or does the image of the atoms above seem to morph all the time, a.k.a. optical illusion?

  • Félix Dieu

    Graphene is an amazing thing. Don’t dream (joke) about new sensors. They won’t come, simple because we can’t produce graphene now. Still a lot do to with CMOS technology…and for some photographers to understand what it is

  • Hadar

    They’re watching us…all the time. Get rid of your pencils RIGHT NOW!