January 28, 2014
By: Larry Rulison
Source: Times Union
Nanosheets discovery creates crisper results in imaging devices
group of researchers at the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and
Engineering have discovered that a special super-thin layer of
nanomaterial could dramatically improve how cameras work — especially
when there isn't a lot of light.
The researchers, working under
the direction of nanoengineering professor Bin Yu, have found a way to
create "nanosheets" of indium selenide only 3.9 nanometers thick, which
means they are not visible to the naked eye. They said the nanosheets
could work dramatically better than the photosensor materials used in
today's cameras and imaging devices, which have trouble creating crisp
images in low light.
The results of the work were published recently in ACS Nano, a monthly publication of the American Chemical Society.
Jacobs-Gedrim, a research assistant on the project, said the discovery
has been "received very well" by the scientific community, which has
long been looking for advantages of using similar nanomaterials that
will often have special physical qualities because of their size.
Another example is graphene, small strands of graphite that have vastly
different properties — and are much stronger — than graphite.
strand of indium selenide, a man-made molecule, is only a few atoms
thick. The indium selenide "nanosheets" include about four strands.
photosensor materials used in cameras are also much larger than the
indium selenide nanosheets, and can become contaminated more often
because of the process by which they are made. If the indium selenide
nanosheets are ever commercially made, they could potentially cost a lot
less and last a lot longer in addition to performing better.
The technology could also be used in solar cells and other devices that use semiconductor material.
"We see a lot of potential consumer opportunities," Yu said.