Prof. Hon Ki TSANG and Prof. Jian-Bin XU and their research team of the Department of Electronic Engineering at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have successfully constructed a new device for detecting light in the mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectral region. This groundbreaking work is expected to enable a new generation of high efficiency, low cost, and highly integrated mid-IR detectors which proceeds to the applications of mid-IR spectroscopy in environmental and biomedical engineering. The chemical spectroscopy can detect trace concentrations (parts per billion) of gases for enormous applications, such as air pollution monitoring and analysis of human breath for disease markers. The research results have been published today (16 September) in the latest issue of Nature Photonics. Meanwhile, the news column of Nature – Nature News and Nature Photonics published their technical commentaries by the top experts.