Researchers create microwave detector smaller than human cell

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Published on: 11 July 2016 8:06 AM GMT
Researchers create microwave detector smaller than human cell
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London: Beating the previous record by fourteen-fold, the researchers have created the smallest and most sensitive detector in the world. The detector is smaller than a human blood cell and has the most uncomplicated design of superconducting aluminum and a single golden nanowire.

What researchers said:

  • According to the researchers, this design guarantees both efficient absorption of incoming photons and very sensitive readout.
  • Mikko Mottonen, a researcher from Aalto University in Finland said, "For us size matters. The smaller, the better. With smaller detectors, we get more signal and cheaper price in mass production."

About the detector:

  • While sharing the information about the new detector the research team told that the new detector works at a hundredth of a degree above absolute zero temperature.
  • Thermal disturbances at such low temperatures are so weak that researchers could detect energy packets of only a single zeptojoule which is the energy needed to lift a red blood cell by just a single nanometre, they said.
  • The device uses an external energy source to amplify its readings, allowing scientists to recognise the most minuscule of thermal energy changes.

Benefit of the detector:

  • Besides communication systems, the new detector could be used as a measurement device in the emerging superconducting quantum computer, they said.
  • A microwave detector may also be useful for thermodynamics of small systems, researchers said.
  • The findings were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

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