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Researchers at MIT built a device that they describe as a “nanoscale flashlight” on a chip. The device overcomes a limitation of spectroscopy, in that spectrometers are relatively large instruments. Much like a spectrometer, the MIT team’s nanoflashlight shines a beam of light on a material, analyzes the light after it has passed through the material at several wavelengths, and captures the interactions of light with the material for each color.
The researchers believe the compact flashlight could turn cellphones into sensors that would detect viruses and other miniscule objects. The approach they used to design the light beam on a chip, they said, could also be used to create a variety of other nanoflashlights with…READ MORE