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Researchers at The University of Michigan say they may have found a way to enable night vision technology in contact lenses using recently discovered wonder material graphene.
Zhaohui Zhong, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering told the U.K.’s Independent that his team has overcome a previous weakness of the material, its insensitivity to parts of the light spectrum, using a new technique.
“Our work pioneered a new way to detect light,” said Zhong. “We envision that people will be able to adopt this same mechanism in other material and device platforms.”
Graphene’s discoverers, using such advanced scientific instruments as adhesive tape and ordinary pencils, were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their find. Since then, over 200 companies have begun conducting research on incorporating graphene into their products. The atom-thick, honeycomb-shaped substance is 200 times stronger than steel, and many times thinner than a human hair.The material is already proving itself proving itself superior to regular fibre optic material, in some cases accelerating internet speeds by a factor of 100.
Unlike bulky night vision headgear that requires an elaborate cooling system, graphene-based contact lenses would be stealth.
“We can make the entire design super-thin,” says Zhong. “It can be stacked on a contact lens or integrated with a cell phone.
More from The Independent here.