Rice lab uses CMOS-compatible aluminum for on-chip color detection
Biomimetic photodetector 'sees' in color
Jade Boyd - August 25, 2014
"Today's color filtering mechanisms often involve materials that are not CMOS-compatible, but this new approach has advantages beyond on-chip integration," said LANP Director Naomi Halas
, the lead scientist on the study. "It's also more compact and simple and more closely mimics the way living organisms 'see' colors.
Biomimicry was no accident. The color photodetector resulted from a $6 million research program funded by the Office of Naval Research that aimed to mimic cephalopod skin using "metamaterials," compounds that blur the line between material and machine.
Cephalopods like octopus and squid are masters of camouflage, but they are also color-blind. Halas said the "squid skin" research team, which includes marine biologists Roger Hanlon of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., and Thomas Cronin of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, suspect that cephalopods may detect color directly through their skin.
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