Lenses that mimic the human eye

Graphene is a sheet of carbon just one atom thick and has a host of unique mechanical and electronic properties. It is extremely elastic and can be stretched by up to 20%, which means that bubbles of various shapes can be "blown" from the material. This, combined with the fact that graphene is transparent to light yet impermeable to most liquids and gases, could make the material ideal for creating adaptive-focus optical lenses.

Such lenses are employed in mobile-phone cameras, webcams and auto-focusing eye glasses, and are usually made of transparent liquid crystals or fluids. Although such devices work well, they are relatively difficult and expensive to make. In principle, graphene-based adaptive optics could be fabricated using much simpler methods than those used for existing devices. They could also become cheaper to produce if industrial-scale processes to manufacture graphene devices become available.

Source: physicsworld.comAdded: 14 November 2011