Molybdenum: Making Waves in Electronics

Molybdenum, which is mainly known as an additive that makes steel harder anddigital-300x198 more resistant to rust, also has other diverse applications.

Now, as the molybdenum market recovers from a lackluster 2012, scientists in Switzerland and the United States are using molybdenum disulfide, also known as molybdenite, to develop some of these less common uses for the metal.

Improving digital camera technology

Since 2011, an École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) team led by Andras Kis has been investigating how the “amazing” semiconducting properties of molybdenite can be harnessed for a variety of technological applications. Specifically, the team’s interest is in examining molybdenite’s potential in image sensors, a key component of today’s digital cameras, according to R&D Magazine.

R&D Magazine explains that all digital cameras have a silicon-based sensor whose surface is a semiconducting material that reacts to light by generating a specific electrical charge that is then “transferred to the camera’s firmware for processing.” The efficiency of that process depends on how much light is required to set off the charge. By using molybdenite as a replacement for silicon, the EPFL team has been able to create a “prototype of an image sensor” that has “five times the light sensitivity of current technology.”

If EPFL’s work continues successfully, it could lead to the development of digital cameras that are five times more sensitive to light than those available at the moment. Such cameras “would open up the huge area of low-light or night photography, without resorting to ‘noise’-generating amplification techniques, slowing down the shutter speed or using a flash,” R&D Magazine states. Put more simply, they would enable people to take photographs using only starlight, Kis told the publication.

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The above story is reprinted from an article published by Moly Investing News. The original article was written by Charlotte McLeod.
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