Smart materials harvest sun's rays

New carbon-based materials that are sensitive to infra-red radiation could lead to the development of digital cameras that can see in the dark, smart walls that control the temperature of a room, and clothing that can power a mobile phone, PDA, or mp3 player. Ted Sargent of the University of Toronto and his colleagues have developed a sprayable material from semiconductor nanocrystals they can apply to almost any surface including textiles. The particles are sensitive to infra-red wavelengths and so could be used as either a sensor material or to harvest IR radiation for electricity generation.