Scientists have learned how to create cheap infrared cameras: why do we need them?

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Cameras that capture infrared radiation invisible to the human eye can be extremely useful in both scientific equipment and consumer technology. For example, they can be successfully used in smartphones, adding a thermal imager function, as well as in cars with autopilot for pedestrian recognition. Manufacturers can not introduce them into their products only because of their high cost, but a group of scientists from the University of Chicago came up with how to reduce the cost of technology and make infrared cameras a mass product.

Infrared camera

Since the wavelength of infrared radiation is much shorter than that of visible light, a more advanced camera filling is needed to capture them. In particular, they need several layers of semiconductors, in the manufacture of which often there are errors that lead to high costs. That is why the researchers decided that they should use a different technology to capture short and medium waves of infrared light.

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Researchers Xin tan and Philippe Guillot-Sionnest explained that nanoparticles called quantum dots are perfect for this purpose. They are able to adjust to capture waves of different lengths,and this range just includes infrared waves. Short waves provide information about the texture and chemical composition of the object, and the average — about the temperature. The researchers set up two sets of quantum dots on different waves and combined them together, overlaying them in layers on a silicon plate.

Collecting multiple wavelengths in the infrared gives you more spectral information-it’s like making a black and white TV color.

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Xin Tang, one of the authors of the project

The researchers claim that this approach significantly reduces the cost of infrared cameras by reducing the cost of materials and saving time. In just a few minutes,you can create a device that will not be inferior to expensive cameras.


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Updated: March 11, 2019 — 12:22 am

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