Researchers from North Carolina State University integrated Vanadium Dioxide (currently used to make infrared sensors) as a single crystal on a silicon substrate. This allowed them to develop smart infrared sensors in which the sensor and computational function are embedded on a single chip. Such devices may enable faster and more energy efficient sensors.
In addition to developing a new sensor architecture, the researchers also managed to make the Vanadium Dioxide magnetic using a high-power nanosecond-pulsed laser beam. They hope this will enable them to develop Spintronics sensors that incorporate infrared sensors and magnetic sensors on a single chip.