New nanoscale light sensors could have applications in optoelectronics, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.
Jeremy Levy, professor of physics and astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences, worked with a team from the academic institution and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The idea behind the innovation came from the toy Etch A Sketch, which Professor Levy turned into a concept for drawing electronic circuit boards using temporary nanowires which can effectively be erased once they are no longer needed.
In turn, the platform has now been used to sketch out light sensors which can operate at different visible light frequencies and measures less than four nanometres across.
Professor Levy says: "These results may enable new possibilities for devices that can sense optical properties at the nano scale and deliver this information in electronic form."
The University of Pittsburgh was originally founded in 1787; its first building was a log cabin located close to the three rivers that run through the city.