A new metasurface could allow everyone to see at night. Applied in the form of a film on a pair of prescription glasses, this discovery could replace current night vision equipment with a lightweight and inexpensive alternative.
Heavy and bulky night vision goggles may soon be replaced by simple goggles. Researchers at the Australian National University have developed acontaining nanocrystals a hundred times finer than a hair that converts light to the visible. They detailed their invention in the magazine .
The researchers created a film containing microscopic crystals of arsenide fromwith a thickness of a few hundred . Its operation is entirely optical, unlike the majority of current equipment which converts as an electrical signal, displayed on a screen. This new solution does not block normal vision since the film acts as a filter which lets the visible, and can be applied to ordinary prescription glasses.
A thin film on glasses to assist night driving
To work, thisdoes not require any power. Instead, it relies on a tiny that nanocrystals combine with infrared light to create visible images.
For now, it is a prototype but the researchers say its large-scale production should be simple and inexpensive. This system could be adopted by the police and the military who often complain ofbecause of the weight of the current equipment. It could also integrate daily life, for example for pedestrians or night driving.