Infrared Technology is a technology used in a variety of products, such as night-vision goggles, photodetectors, optical switches, modulators, and transducers.
The success of this technology lies in the ability of the device to achieve, Total Light Absorption (TLA), which is the ability to absorb light completely.
This means that zero light is reflected or transmitted after contact with these materials. The materials needed to achieve this are generally quite expensive and often require complicated mechanisms to operate and maintain.
However, now, research done by Australian scientists has revealed a new way of achieving TLA through the use of conventional materials that are compatible with these processes.
Example of these materials are photodetectors and optical modulators with etched 41-nanometer-thick antimony sulfide grating structures on them.
The scientists found that by etching thin grooves in the film, they could direct light sideways, which causes all of it to be absorbed, despite the small amount of material.
Through this process, the devices created can achieve TLA easily, without the need to invest in expensive equipment or materials.
The hope is that as this technology is developed further, it will help in the development of more complicated machinery at quite an inexpensive cost.