A group of researchers has discovered a way to potentially use graphene for photo detectors in future products such as digital cameras or night vision goggles.
Typically, graphene has rather terrible light-sensing capabilities as it is just 3 percent efficient. However, graphene is apparently good enough to become a photo detector material when it is covered gold electrodes, as well nano-scale crystals, commonly referred to as quantum dots. The scientists experimented with different mixes of the material and finally ended up with a detectivity of 7×10^13 Jones. It is not exactly record breaking for photo detectors overall, as the best detectors today reach more than 1x10^14 Jones at room temperature.
However, the results were still good enough to predict that graphene will also make its way into photo detectors and surface in mass market applications. The research team at the Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques in Barcelona, Spain, said it is now focusing on increasing the size of its detector to "real-world application" sizes.