Anyone with a little knowledge of photography would know how difficult it is to capture images in dim lighting conditions, especially in the absence of flash. A team of researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have managed to create a new imaging sensor that may soon make it possible for photographers to capture clear images even in dim lighting conditions, without flash, reports Tech News Daily. The sensor, made of graphene, is very sensitive to visible and infrared light – it can be used in a variety of cameras from regular home use cameras to surveillance and satellite cameras.

The sensor is also 1,000 times more sensitive to light than the imaging sensors that are found on most cameras today, owing to its unique structure.

The credit for creating this new sensor goes to Wang Qijie, an assistant professor at NTU's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He said this is the first time that a broad-spectrum, high photosensitive sensor has been made using pure graphene.


Works in the absence of flash (Image credit: Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

“We have shown that it is now possible to create cheap, sensitive and flexible sensors from graphene alone,” he said. “We expect our innovation will have great impact not only on the consumer imaging industry, but also in satellite imaging and communication industries, as well as the mid-infrared applications.”

He elaborated that the most crucial bit to his imaging sensor is the use of “light-trapping” nanostructures that use graphene as a base. The nanostructures hold on to light-generated electron particles for much longer than conventional sensors.

This leads to a stronger than usual electric signal that can then be processed into an image, like a photograph captured by a digital camera.

He even said that he took the existing manufacturing practices into account when designing this new sensor. Interestingly, it is possible for those in the the camera industry to continue with the same process to make its sensors after switching to graphene.

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