It is also more compact and simple and more closely mimics the way living organisms see colours, Halas added."
New York, Aug 26 - In a first, researchers have created a light detector that responds to red, green and blue light like the human eye does.
The researchers from Rice University were inspired by the skin of cephalopods like octopus and squid, which they believe, can detect colour directly through their skin. The sensor they have created uses complementary metal-oxide semi-conductor (CMOS) technology and can fit on a self contained chip.
Today's colour filtering mechanisms often involve materials that are not CMOS-compatible, but this new approach has advantages beyond on-chip integration, said Naomi Halas from Rice University.
It is also more compact and simple and more closely mimics the way living organisms see colours, Halas added.
The sensor is a result of a $6 million research programme funded by the US Office of Naval Research that aimed to mimic cephalopod skin using metamaterials - compounds that blur the line between material and machine.