Butterfly-inspired thermal imager under development at GE

Doping the butterfly scales of Morpho butterflies with nanotubes can create new thermal imaging sensors

Researchers at General Electric (Fairfield, CT, USA) have demonstrated that by doping the butterfly scales of Morpho butterflies with single-walled carbon nanotubes, they can create new highly-sensitive thermal imaging sensors.

The thermal sensors can sense temperature changes down to 0.02 degrees Celsius, and changes in temperature at a response rate of one fortieth of a second.


In a recent paper in Nature, they describe how computational analysis can be used to explain the origin of the thermal response of the sensors and used to guide new bio-inspired thermal imaging sensors in the future.

The discovery is a result of extensive studies conducted at GE Global Research on the technological applications of photonic properties of Morpho butterfly wing scales led by Radislav Potyrailo, Principal Scientist at GE Global Research.

Dr. Potyrailo noted that his teams are also working on the fabrication of photonic nanostructures inspired by Morpho butterfly wing scales, with commercial applications that could reach the market within the next five years.

GE’s new bio-inspired nanostructured system could eventually broaden the application of thermal imaging systems by improving the manufacturability, image resolution, sensitivity, and response time of new systems at a lower cost.

-- By Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design


RELATED COMPANIES

RELATED PRODUCTS

There is no current content available.

Webcasts

Learn and leverage machine vision software

Seasoned machine vision software specialist Tom Brennan will provide an overview of machine vision software, and explore algorithms as they apply to color space conversion, frequency domain transfo...

Off-the-shelf machine vision for non-industrial applications

While machine vision has been deployed in factory automation applications for over 30 years, the technology can benefit plenty of non-industrial applications such as scientific and medical imaging,...
March 18, 2015

How to apply infrared imaging in vision systems

This updated webcast begins with a review of the benefits and operational specifics of infrared imaging for machine vision applications. Systems integration and engineering specialist Dr. Jonathan ...
March 4, 2015

10 important considerations for designing a machine vision system

Developing a machine vision system is a complex activity involving optical engineering, electrical engineering, programming, and mechanical engineering.  Moving from inception through installa...
February 18, 2015

Archives

Click here to view archived Vision Systems Design articles