Research on graphene-based sensors at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has yielded a new type of image sensor able to detect light over a broad spectrum, from the visible to mid-infrared, with very high sensitivity. In addition to being 1,000 times more sensitive to light than current low-cost imaging sensors used in compact cameras, it also uses 10 times less energy because it operates at a lower voltage.


The key to the sensitivity of the new sensors is nanostructures on graphene that trap electrons produced by the incident light for a much longer time, resulting in a much stronger electrical signal. According to the researchers, the performance of the sensor, such as the response speed, could be further improved by nanostructure engineering of the graphene, and preliminary results have already verified the feasibility of the concept.  Mass-produced graphene sensors are also estimated to be at least five times cheaper than current sensors.