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June 14th, 2004
Quantum dots see in the dark
Researchers at the University of Southern California and the University of Texas at Austin have built and tested a device based on nanostructures called quantum dots that can sensitively detect infrared radiation in a crucial wavelength range. The atmosphere is opaque to most infrared, but it is transparent for a narrow "window" between 8 and 12 microns. Night vision goggles, military target tracking devices and environmental monitors utilize this range of wavelengths.
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