New Camera Sensor Could Eliminate The Need For A Flash

Made of an abundant and inexpensive compound, the sensor could make digital cameras five times more sensitive to light, "opening up" the realms of low-light and night photography.

What's the Latest Development?


Scientists at Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created a prototype of an image sensor that, when built into a digital camera, could make that camera five times more sensitive to light. In low-light or night conditions, such a camera could take photos without the need for a flash, slower shutter speed, or other commonly used tricks of the trade. Specialized areas of astronomy and biology would especially benefit, says EPFL team leader Andras Kis: ""It would make it possible to take photographs using only starlight." Details are included in an article recently published in Nature Nanotechnology.

What's the Big Idea?

A typical image sensor's surface is made of silicon that has been divided into millions of pixels. This version's surface is made of molybdenite, a molybdenum-sulfur compound with "amazing" semiconducting properties, and comprises only a single pixel. However, it needs only a fraction of the light used by silicon-based sensors to generate the electric charge that is then used by the camera's firmware for processing an image. Kis and his team have been experimenting with molybdenite since 2011, and they believe that this inexpensive, plentiful material could eventually replace silicon in many applications.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at ScienceDaily

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less