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Debashis Chanda’s team has been awarded a $1.3 million grant by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to fund the development of a next-generation infrared detector that could be used in fields as varied as night vision, meteorology and space exploration. DARPA is funding the UCF team’s research for the 3½ years.

Chanda and associate professor Michael Leuenberger of the NSTC and UCF’s Department of Physics, are working on an entirely new type of detector that relies on graphene, that is so thin – just one atomic layer thick – it is a two-dimensional material. Chanda envisions an infrared detector that is small, portable, doesn’t need to be cooled and produces high-resolution images. Unlike current technologies, which can detect only one band of light, the next-gen detector would be tunable and able to see a range of bands.