Table of Contents
New Journal of Science
Volume 2014, Article ID 524042, 9 pages
Research Article

Biomimetic-Inspired Infrared Sensors from Microwires: Study of Their Photoconductivity and Infrared Spectrum Properties

1Biomimetics Technologies Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada M6S 2X4
2Hannover Medical School, Department of Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, 30625 Hannover, Germany
3Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Albert-Einstein-Straße 9, 07745 Jena, Germany
4Department of Applied Physics and Electromagnetism, University of Valencia, 46100 Valencia, Spain
5The Technical University of Clausthal-Zellefeld, Julius Albert Straße 4, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
6University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital, East Wing 2nd Floor, 399 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 2S8

Received 1 April 2014; Revised 18 May 2014; Accepted 18 May 2014; Published 26 June 2014

Academic Editor: Rakez Kayed

Copyright © 2014 M. Israelowitz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The fire beetle, Melanophila acuminata (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), senses infrared radiation at wavelengths of 3 and 10–25 microns via specialized protein-containing sensilla. Although the protein denatures outside of a biological system, this detection mechanism has inspired our bottom-up approach to produce single zinc phosphide microwires via vapour transport for IR sensing. The Zn3P2 microwires were immobilized and electrical contact was made by dielectrophoresis. Photoconductivity measurements have been extended to the near IR range, spanning the Zn3P2 band gaps. Purity and integrity of the Zn3P2 microwires including infrared light scattering properties were confirmed by infrared transmission microscopy. This biomimetic microwire shows promise for infrared chip development.