IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


28th July, 2023 Science and Technology

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Context: Hematene nanoflakes, extracted from iron ore or hematite, have been discovered to possess excellent properties for serving as optical limiters, which can protect sensitive optical equipment from damage caused by high laser intensities.


  • The discovery of hematene as a novel 2D material with remarkable properties has opened up new possibilities for developing highly efficient optical limiters.

Key Findings of the Research

  • Hematene Nanoflakes: Nanoflakes of hematene, a material extracted from iron ore (hematite), have been found to withstand and act as a shield against high laser intensities.
  • Optical Limiters: The unique properties of hematene make it suitable for creating devices called optical limiters, which are capable of protecting sensitive optical equipment from damage caused by intense laser radiation.
  • Protection for Optical Components: Laser sources emit highly concentrated and powerful radiation, which can be detrimental to equipment like sensors, detectors, and other optical devices. Optical limiters control the amount of light passing through them, thereby preventing damage to the optical components.
  • Versatile Applications: Optical limiters find applications in various fields, including laser technologies, military applications, telecommunications, aircraft, and scientific research.

About Hematene

  • Extraction Process: Hematene is extracted from naturally occurring hematite, which is the mineral form of iron (III) oxide. The extraction process involves sonication, centrifugation, and vacuum-assisted filtration.
  • Thickness: Hematene is an ultra-thin material, measuring only 3 atoms thick in its 2D form.
  • Photocatalytic Efficiency: It exhibits more efficient photocatalysis, making it potentially useful for light-driven chemical reactions.
  • Ferromagnetic Properties: Hematene is ferromagnetic, meaning it can form permanent magnets or be attracted to magnets.

Way forward

  • Combining these key findings and facts, hematene's potential as an optical limiter becomes apparent. Its ability to withstand high laser intensities, coupled with its other unique properties, makes it an attractive candidate for protecting sensitive optical devices in various critical applications.
  • This research breakthrough can lead to advancements in optoelectronics, materials science, and technology, opening up possibilities for more efficient and reliable optical components and devices in the future.


Q. What is the potential application of hematene nanoflakes as optical limiters?

1. Protecting electronic devices from electromagnetic interference.

2. Enhancing the efficiency of solar cells.

3. Shielding sensitive optical equipment from high laser intensities.

4. Enabling faster data transfer in optical communication.

How many of the above statements is/are correct?

A) Only 1

B) Only 2

C) Only 3

D) All

Answer: A

Explanation: The potential application of hematene nanoflakes is as optical limiters, which means they are used for shielding sensitive optical equipment from high laser intensities. Therefore, statement 3 is correct, while statements 1, 2, and 4 are not directly related to the application of hematene nanoflakes as optical limiters.