Thin Film Design Delivers Clutter-Free Night Vision Prototype | Research & Technology | June 2021


CANBERRA, Australia, June 21, 2021 – An international team of researchers have developed technology that allows people to see clearly in the dark. The technology is based on nanoscale crystals and has potential applications in defense and security applications, such as night driving.

“Our technology is able to transform infrared light, normally invisible to the human eye, and turn it into images that people can clearly see, even at a distance,” said Rocio Camacho Morales, senior researcher, postdoctoral researcher in the department of electronic materials engineering. at Australian National University (ANU). “We made a very thin film, made up of nanoscale crystals, hundreds of times thinner than a human hair, that can be applied directly to eyeglasses and acts as a filter, allowing you to see into the eye. darkness of the night. ”

Rocio Camacho Morales. Courtesy of Australian National University.

The technology would be light, inexpensive, and easy to mass produce. In comparison, today’s high-end infrared imaging technology is complex and requires cryogenic freezing to operate, making production expensive. The new method works at room temperature.

The technology, said Dragomir Neshev, director of the ARC Center of Excellence in Transformative Meta-Optic Systems and professor of physics at ANU, integrates nonlinear metasurfaces to manipulate light in new ways.

“This is the first time in the world that infrared light has been successfully transformed into images visible on an ultra-thin screen,” said Neshev. “This is a really exciting development and we know it will forever change the night vision landscape.”

“We have already demonstrated the potential of individual nanoscale crystals, but to harness them in our daily lives, we have had to overcome enormous challenges to organize the crystals into a network,” said Mohsen Rahmani, head of the optics and laboratory laboratory. advanced photonics at Nottingham Trent. The University’s School of Science and Technology, which led the development of crystalline films at the nanoscale. “Although this is the first proof of concept experiment, we are actively working to advance the technology. ”

The research was published in Advanced photonics (


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