Scientists have learned to create cheap infrared cameras: why are they needed?

Cameras that catch the invisible forhuman eyes infrared radiation, can be extremely useful in scientific equipment and consumer technology. For example, they can be successfully used in smartphones by adding the function of a thermal imager, as well as in cars with autopilot for pedestrian recognition. Manufacturers can not implement them in their products only because of their high cost, but a group of scientists from the University of Chicago has figured out how to reduce the cost of technology and make infrared cameras a mass product.

Since the wavelength of infrared radiationmuch less than 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 errors often occur, which 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.

Researchers Xin Tan and Philip Guillet-Zionnestexplained that nanoparticles, called quantum dots, are excellent for this purpose. They are able to tune in to capture waves of different lengths, and infrared radiation waves just enter this range. Short waves provide information about the texture and chemical composition of an object, and medium waves provide information about temperature. The researchers set up two sets of quantum dots on different waves and combined them together, overlaying them in layers on a silicon wafer.

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

Xin Tan, one of the authors of the project

Researchers insist that such an approachsignificantly reduces the cost of infrared cameras by reducing material costs and saving time. In just a few minutes you can create a device that, by its capabilities, will practically not yield to expensive cameras.

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