University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Register and Science Daily report that Associate Professor Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma and colleagues have developed a flexible light-sensitive material. Their technology is featured on the cover of the January 5 issue of Applied Physics Letters.
Ma and his group can create curved photodetectors with specially fabricated nanomembranes—extremely thin, flexible sheets of germanium. Researchers then can apply the nanomembranes to any polymer substrate, such as a thin, flexible piece of plastic. Currently, the group has demonstrated photodetectors curved in one direction, but Ma hopes next to develop hemispherical sensors.
Ma's curved photodetector could eliminate that distortion. "If you can make a curved imaging plane, you just need one lens," says Ma. "That's why this development is extremely important."