Science

Scientists create contact lenses that could shoot lasers like Superman

The researchers say the membrane lasers are safe to be used in the human eye.

Scientists have designed ultra-thin contact lenses that have the ability to shoot lasers from your eyes like Superman.

The lenses contain stick-on membranes which are 200 nanometres thick and can beam lasers on to a screen 20in (50cm) away.

The team, from the University of St Andrews, say their work could be used to check for counterfeit banknotes or function as wearable security tags.

Laser eyes.
The contact lens contains a stick-on membrane that can shoot lasers (University of St Andrews/PA)

They add that these membrane lasers are safe to be used in the human eye and have “exceptional mechanical flexibility”.

Malte Gather, a professor at the university’s School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “Our work represents a new milestone in laser development and, in particular, points the way to how lasers can be used in inherently soft and ductile environments, be it in wearable sensors or as an authentication feature on banknotes.”

Laser membrane on a bank note.
The researchers also used the membranes on banknotes (University of St Andrews/PA)

The researchers performed demonstrations using a cow eye, where the lens emitted a green laser beam when excited with a pulsing blue light.

They were also able to stick these ultra-thin, laser-emitting membranes on to banknotes and found that they still worked after several months.

The research is published in the journal Nature Communications.

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