Using a mobile phone to take X-ray images

The X-ray image of the beetle specimen (left) was taken by National University of Singapore researchers using a digital camera. This was possible because the sensor they developed (above) uses nanocrystals that are thin enough for visible light to pa
The X-ray image of the beetle specimen was taken by National University of Singapore researchers using a digital camera. This was possible because the sensor they developed (above) uses nanocrystals that are thin enough for visible light to pass through.PHOTOS: NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

NUS scientists create X-ray sensor thin enough to allow light to pass through

It is now scientifically possible to take X-ray images with a mobile phone or a digital camera, and to create these ghostly scans in almost all the colours of the rainbow.

And where making the crystals that turn X-rays into visible light used a highly toxic process that involved up to 1,700 deg C of heat, Singapore-based scientists can now safely create the crystals at less than 100 deg C - the temperature of boiling water - while wearing no more protection than a lab coat.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2018, with the headline 'Using a mobile phone to take X-ray images'. Print Edition | Subscribe