Researchers have created low-cost sensors that can see invisible infrared light

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0c52fdea18051d3 - Researchers have created low-cost sensors that can see invisible infrared light

now, a research team led by the University of Cambridge has demonstrated a new concept of detecting infrared light, which shows how to convert it into easy to detect visible light

in cooperation with colleagues from the UK, Spain and Belgium, the team used monolayer molecules to absorb the mid infrared light in their vibrating chemical bonds. These vibrating molecules can donate their energy to the visible light they encounter, and then convert it upward into emission closer to the blue end of the spectrum, which can then be detected by modern visible light cameras

this result reported in science has opened up a new low-cost way for sensing pollutants, tracking cancer, examining gas mixtures and remotely sensing the outer universe

the challenge for researchers is to ensure that vibrating molecules encounter visible light quickly enough. Angelos xomalis, the first author of the paper from Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University, pointed out: “this means that we must squeeze it into a gap surrounded by gold to really trap light tightly around molecules.”

it is understood that researchers have designed a method to clamp a single molecular layer between a mirror and a small piece of gold, which is only “metamaterial” To do this, it can twist and squeeze light into a billion times smaller volume than human hair

“it is difficult to capture these different colors of light at the same time, but we want to find an inexpensive method and easily produce practical equipment,” said Dr. Rohit chikkaraddy, co-author of the paper from Cavendish Laboratory. He designed these experiments based on his simulation of light in these components

Professor Jeremy Baumberg of the nanophotonics center at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University, who led the research, pointed out: “it’s like listening to slow seismic waves. By colliding with the violin string, you can get an easy to hear loud roar without damaging the violin.”

the researchers stressed that although it is still in its early stage, However, there are many ways to optimize the performance of these cheap molecular detectors, and then rich information can be obtained in this window of the spectrum

from astronomical observations of Galaxy structure to early signs of sensing human hormones or invasive cancer, many technologies can benefit from the progress of this new detector