Science nerds and photographers can join hands today and stare in awe at what a team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory managed to do. Entirely by accident, these scientists have managed to take the first ever high-res images of carbon atoms in the process of forming chemical bonds.
Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed a graphene image sensor one thousand times more sensitive to anything available on the market today. The sensor is capable of detecting broad spectrum light, making it a great solution for all types of cameras. Its uses could include traffic cameras, infrared cameras, and so forth.
Photos and details of Nokia’s upcoming Lumia 920 smartphone leaked earlier this week, revealing that the new flagship Windows phone will feature a 8-megapixel sensor, a 4.5-inch display, 32GB of storage, and wireless charging via a special pad.
Although the camera specs seem rather pedestrian compared to the 41MP 808 PureView, patents published last month reveal that the company is working on some special sensor tech for future devices. More specifically, Nokia is working on developing camera sensors that use layers of graphene — one-atom-thick layers of carbon — for big performance advantages over existing 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