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Hematene Nanoflakes for Optical Limiters

Focus: GS III: Science and Technology

Why in News?

Researchers have come up with a new and highly efficient optical limiter using a novel 2D material, ‘hematene’.

Key Findings: Hematene Nanoflakes for Optical Limiters

  • Hematene Nanoflakes’ Potential: Nanoflakes of hematene, extracted from iron ore (hematite), have been discovered to withstand and shield from high laser intensities effectively.
  • Optical Limiters Application: Hematene nanoflakes can be used to create optical limiters, devices that protect sensitive optical equipment from light-induced damage.
  • Protection Against Laser Radiation: Laser sources emit concentrated and powerful radiation that can be harmful to optical devices such as sensors, detectors, etc.
  • Control of Light Transmission: Optical limiters control the amount of light passing through them, thereby preventing damage to optical components when the input intensity increases.
  • Applications: Optical limiters find utility in various fields, including laser technologies, military applications, telecommunications, aircraft, and scientific research.

Key Facts about Hematene:

  • Source: Hematene is extracted from naturally occurring hematite, which is the mineral form of iron(III) oxide. The extraction process involves sonication, centrifugation, and vacuum-assisted filtration.
  • Thickness and Photocatalysis: Hematene measures just three atoms thick and exhibits more efficient photocatalysis.
  • Ferromagnetic Properties: Hematene displays ferromagnetic properties, making it behave like a common magnet.
  • Performance in Optical Limiting: Hematene nanoflakes demonstrate exceptional optical limiting of green laser light (532 nm) while maintaining a high linear transmission (about 87%) for low-intensity light.

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