Journal: Science Advances
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Mantis shrimp inspires compact light sensor
© Sirachai Arunrugstichai/Moment/Getty Images
A compact light sensor inspired by mantis shrimp eyes can simultaneously detect information about the polarization and wavelength of light. It could find applications as diverse as evaluating crop quality, diagnosing skin cancer, and characterizing aerosols in the atmosphere.
Mantis shrimps view the world very differently from us since they have photoreceptors for 12 colours—four times more than humans. They can also detect the polarization of light. Scientists have made artificial light sensors that can perform both functions simultaneously, but their usefulness has been limited by their bulkiness.
Now, by mimicking the visual system of the mantis shrimp, a team that included two researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has devised a novel polarimetric and hyperspectral light sensor that is so compact it can fit on a smartphone.
This demonstration will help greatly advance hyperspectral and polarization imaging in areas from astronomy to biomedicine, the researchers say.
- Science Advances 7, eabe3196 (2021). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abe3196