Researchers have developed a technique to quickly and sensitively characterize defects in 2D materials used in sensors and electronics. Their solution is to use laser light combined with a phenomenon called second harmonic generation, in which the frequency of the light shone on the material reflects at double the original frequency. Add to this a technique called dark field imaging, in which extraneous light is filtered out so that defects shine through.

This is the first instance in which dark field imaging has been utilized, and it provides three times the brightness as the standard bright field imaging method, making it possible to see types of defects previously invisible.

Because 2D materials are flexible and can be incorporated in very small spaces, they are good candidates for multiple sensors in a smart watch or other places where small, flexible sensors are required.

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