Navigation Links
Nanotechnology makes supertelescopes much more sensitive
Date:2/3/2009

Nanotechnologist Chris Lodewijk has succeeded in significantly increasing the sensitivity of the new supertelescopes in Chile. He will receive his PhD on this topic at Delft University of Technology on Monday 2 February.

In Chile's Atacama desert, technicians and astronomers from around the world are currently working on the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). This consists of 66 advanced telescopes which will be placed at an altitude of 5,000 metres and together will provide a more precise image of the universe. They are chiefly aimed at shedding light on the question of how stars and planets are formed. ALMA is expected to be taken into service in 2012 and is viewed by astronomers as a major step forward for their field.

Aluminium nitride

Dutch astronomers have been closely involved in developing ALMA in a fruitful collaboration with nanotechnologists. The latest contribution from the nano-world comes from PhD candidate Chris Lodewijk and technician Tony Zijlstra at Delft University of Technology's Kavli Institute of Nanoscience. They have succeeded in drastically increasing the sensitivity of ALMA in a crucial frequency range by improving the functioning of the major component, the radiation-sensor.

This involves what are known as super-conducting tunnel junctions. These miniscule sensors comprise two superconductors which are separated by an insulating layer measuring 1 to 2 nanometres, usually of aluminium oxide, with an area of 500 by 500 nanometres.

However, it is impossible to avoid a very thin layer of 1 nanometre of aluminium oxide 'leaking' in certain spots. Lodewijk and Zijlstra therefore conducted research into replacing aluminium oxide with aluminium nitride (AlN), with spectacular results. An aluminium nitride layer proves to be much more homogeneous and its sensitivity, in the 602 to 720 GHz range, is also much improved.

Herschel

Incidentally, Lodewijk's research topic of super-conducting tunnel junctions is also essential to the functioning of the Herschel Space Telescope, which is to be launched in April. The Herschel Space Telescope is the successor to the Hubble telescope. Delft University of Technology's Kavli Institute of Nanoscience has developed many of the crucial tunnel junctions for the Herschel Telescope's measuring equipment.


'/>"/>

Contact: Frank Nuijens, science information officer
f.w.nuijens@tudelft.nl
31-152-784-259
Delft University of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Ethical evaluations of nanotechnology
2. Aldrich(R) Releases Materials Science Catalog That Includes Products to Advance Sustainable Energy and Nanotechnology Research
3. TechConnect World 2009 Matches Tomorrows Technology Solutions with Todays Business Needs for Clean-Technology, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology
4. The frontiers of nanotechnology
5. Using living cells as nanotechnology factories
6. Nanotechnology and the FDA: size matters
7. New nanotechnology centre helps turn big ideas into real products
8. William F. Prendergast Named One of the Top IP Lawyers in Nanotechnology
9. Using nanotechnology to create high-performance materials
10. Nanotechnology: Learning from past mistakes
11. Nanotechnology oversight: An agenda for the new administration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... LEXINGTON, Massachusetts , February 9, 2016 ... Enables Children to Take Part in Life-Changing Camp ... announcing a new initiative designed to positively affect the lives of ... rare disease care. --> SHPG ) is announcing a ... with rare diseases, as well as the future of rare disease ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSXV: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the Company") ... clean technology companies in the TSX Venture 50 TM . ... on the TSX Venture Exchange, in each of five major ... & life sciences, diversified industries and technology – based ... on investment, market cap growth, trading volume and analyst coverage. ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... February 8, 2016 ... Limited, an innovation-driven oncology company developing next generation ... toxic, today announced that chairman emeritus of Tata ... in the company as part of the first ... existing investors Navam Capital and Aarin Capital. ...
(Date:2/8/2016)...  BioElectronics Corporation (OTC Pink: BIEL), the maker ... it is responding to a notice of an ... Exchange Commission posted on the agency website.  ... Board of BioElectronics Corporation and the Edward and ... Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.   ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/2/2016)... --Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray Imaging This ... computed radiography markets in Thailand , ... (TIM). It provides an in-depth analysis of ... regional market drivers and restraints. The study offers revenue ... attractiveness, both for digital and computed radiography. Market participants ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... smart wallet ( www.wocketwallet.com ) announces the launch of a new video ... Las Vegas , where Joey appeared at the Wocket ... Vegas , where Joey appeared at the Wocket booth to meet ... filmed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES2016) in Las Vegas ... greet fans. --> --> The ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... DUBLIN , January 22, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the  ... to their offering. --> ... of the  "Global Behavioral Biometric Market ... --> Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):