Australian National University (ANU) scientists have created a nanocrystal about 500 times smaller than a human hair. According to the scientists, the nanocrystals can make low-light and no-light conditions appear visibly lit.
Ph.D. student Maria del Rocio Camacho-Morales noted that the team formed the crystals on glass to allow light to pass through.
“The nanocrystals are so small they could be fitted as an ultra-thin film to normal eyeglasses to enable night vision,” said Professor Dragomir Neshev who works in the Nonlinear Physics Centre within the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
Professor Neshev said the new night-vision glasses could replace the cumbersome and bulky night-vision binoculars that are currently in use. Neshev also pointed out that the crystals could also be used for applications including counterfeit detection, medical imaging of cells, and holograms.
Co-researcher Dr. Mohsen Rahmani asserts that the ANU team’s achievement was a tremendous milestone in the field of nanophotonics, which studies the behavior of light and its interaction with objects at the nano-scale.
“This is the first time anyone has been able to achieve this feat because growing a nano semi-conductor on a transparent material is very difficult,” said Ms Camacho-Morales from the Nonlinear Physics Centre at ANU.
The team published the research in Nano Letters, and Dr. Rahmani presented it at the Australian Institute of Physics Congress in Brisbane.