Delft University Researchers Make Sensor With 11 Atoms in Size

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 09:47

Delft University of Technology researchers have developed a sensor that is only 11 atoms in size.

The sensor is capable of capturing magnetic waves and consists of an antenna, a readout capability, a reset button and a memory unit, phys.org reports.

The researchers hope to use their atomic sensor to learn more about the behavior of magnetic waves, so that hopefully such waves can one day be used in green ICT applications.

In theory, engineers can make electronic data processing much more efficient by switching to spintronics. Instead of using electrical signals, this technology makes use of magnetic signals to transmit data. Unfortunately, magnetism tends to get incredibly complicated, especially at the tiny scale of computer chips.

A magnetic wave can be viewed as millions of compass needles performing a complex collective dance. Not only do the waves propagate extremely quickly, causing them to vanish in mere nanoseconds, the tricky laws of quantum mechanics also allow them to travel in multiple directions at the same time. This makes them even more elusive.

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