The soldier of the future may no longer need image intensified monoculars and binoculars hanging from his helmet. Two researchers, Ted Norris and Zhaohui Zhong, at the University of Michigan have developed a super-thin infrared light sensor using graphene. The material is an atom-thin material that could be layered onto contact lenses. Graphene absorbs infrared rays and translates them into an electrical signal, similarly to how digital camera sensors work. When infrared light hits the contact’s layered material its electrical reaction is greatly amplified.
Zhong: “If we integrate it with a contact lens or other wearable electronics, it expands your vision.” “It provides you another way of interacting with your environment.”
To get the project off the ground, Norris and Zhong are looking for commercial and/or governmental partners beyond the initial support that came from the National Science Foundation.