The Negev team is developing a thin coating that could be applied to any pair of glasses.
A group of Israeli researchers are working to create a thin coating that will turn invisible infrared light into visible light for night vision glasses. Led by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Prof. Gabby Sarusi, who boasts a long history at defense company Elbit, the scientists hope to develop a coating one micron thick that can be layered on to any glasses. “We want to use a smart layer [based on nano-photonics technologies] to shift invisible light to visible. It would be like looking around at full moonlight,” says Sarusi. Sarusi explained why this device would be unique. “The device that we will develop is a photons starving device where every photon counts and the conversion efficiency from infrared photon to visible photon is the crucial issue. Unlike other groups in the world that are working in this field, we will implement the most advanced research in the field of photonic crystal and nano-photonics for efficient light coupling to the device, plasmon enhanced absorption in the photosensitive layer, efficient photons to electrical current conversion and current transport and a very high efficient Oligofuran based organic light emitting diode (OLED) for electrical current to visible light conversion. Eventually, the emitted light from the OLED will be collimated to the observer eyes using a thin layer micro-collimator array. The overall thickness of such a layer will be just a few micrometers that can be applied easily on any glasses.” Sarusi is leading an interdisciplinary team that includes Prof. Yuval Golan, head of IKI, Prof. Gabriel Lemcoff, head of BGU’s Department of Chemistry, Prof. Michael Bendikov from the Organic Chemistry Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Prof. Gil Markovich, the head of the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University, Prof. Amir Sa’ar and Prof. Uriel Levi, the former head and the current head of the Nanotechnology Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem respectively and Prof. Efrat Lifshitz from the Chemistry Department of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The team is one of only two recipients of a major grant from the Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative (INNI).