Navigation Links
Rice physicists discover ultrasensitive microwave detector

HOUSTON -- (Dec. 8, 2010) -- Physicists from Rice University and Princeton University have discovered how to use one of the information technology industry's mainstay materials -- gallium arsenide semiconductors -- as an ultrasensitive microwave detector that could be suitable for next-generation computers. The discovery comes at a time when computer chip engineers are racing both to add nanophotonic devices directly to microchips and to boost processor speeds beyond 10 gigahertz (GHz).

"Tunable photon-detection technology in the microwave range is not well-developed," said Rice physicist Rui-Rui Du, the study's lead author. "Single-photon detectors based on superconductors in the 10-GHz to 100-GHz range are available, but their resonance frequency has been difficult to tune. Our findings suggest that tunable single-photon detection may be within reach with ultrapure gallium arsenide."

The study, which is available online and due to appear in print this week in Physical Review Letters, is the latest result from a long-term collaboration between Du and Princeton University physicist Loren Pfeiffer, whose group produces the world's purest samples of gallium arsenide. For the new study, Rice graduate student Yanhua Dai cooled one of Pfeiffer's ultrapure samples to below 4 degrees Kelvin -- the temperature of liquid helium. She then bombarded the sample with microwaves while applying a weak magnetic field -- approximately the same strength as that of a refrigerator magnet. Du and Dai were surprised to find that microwaves of a specific wavelength resonated strongly with the cooled sample. They also found they could use the magnet to tune this resonance to specific microwave frequencies.

Du said previous experiments have typically measured weak resonance effects from microwaves. "A signal level of 1 percent is a common measurement. In our case, the change was a thousand times that much."

While the team does not yet understand the mechanism that leads to such a sensitive reaction, they are eagerly pursuing follow-up research to try to prove they can use the effect for single-photon measurements.

A photon is the smallest possible unit of light or electromagnetic radiation. By incorporating devices that create, transmit and measure digital information via photons, rather than with electrons, makers of computer chips hope to produce computers that are both faster and more powerful.

"The clock speed of a new computer right now is about 2 GHz," Du said. "For the next generation, the industry is shooting for around 100 GHz, which is a microwave device. The phenomenon we've observed is in this region, so we hope it may be useful for them."


Contact: Jade Boyd
Rice University

Related biology technology :

1. UC Riverside physicists pave the way for graphene-based spin computer
2. UBC, Max Planck formalize partnership among worlds top quantum physicists
3. Physicists capture first images of atomic spin
4. U-M physicists create first atomic-scale map of quantum dots
5. Physicists at UC Santa Barbara make discovery in quantum mechanics
6. NYU physicists find way to explore microscopic systems through holographic video
7. Nanophysicists find unexpected magnetic effect
8. Physicists discover important step for making light crystals
9. U of T physicists squeeze light to quantum limit
10. McGill physicists find a new state of matter in a transistor
11. Integrated Medical Systems Technology Recognized as Qualified Therapeutic Discovery
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2015)... BRUSSELS , Oct. 12, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... findings from an exploratory sub-study of the previously reported romosozumab ... in an oral plenary session at the American Society for ... Seattle . 2 ... exploratory sub-study data showed that, at month 12, the investigational ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), the leading regenerative ... to develop and market advanced products and therapies for ... and the Dental sectors of healthcare, announced today the ... Company has been dismissed by the court.  ... "As we suspected, this case was brought by an ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Oct. 12, 2015  Rebiotix Inc. today announced ... designated its lead Microbiota Restoration Therapy (MRT) RBX2660 ... recurrent Clostridium difficile (C diff) infection, ... causes 29,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. 1 ... that was founded to revolutionize the treatment of ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... octubre de 2015 El 8 de octubre, ... récord en el congreso con su declaración acerca del ... Plasma Awareness Week (IPAW), que se celebrará del 11 ... la Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) y ... , Aumentar la concienciación mundial acerca de la donación ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/7/2015)... -- --> --> According ... third quarter 2015 amounted to around 960 MSEK. This exceeds ... was communicated 20 August 2015. --> ... a continued growing demand for the company,s products, the revenues ... than during the third quarter. The revenue guidance for 2015 ...
(Date:10/2/2015)... Oct. 02 2015 ... "Enforcing the Law Using Biometrics" report ... has announced the addition of the "Enforcing ... offering. --> Research and Markets ( ... "Enforcing the Law Using Biometrics" report ...
(Date:9/29/2015)... Calif. , Sept. 29, 2015 ... improves employee productivity while also saving energy , ... such as Low Power Active Mode and embedded Fujitsu ... transformation Fujitsu today shows that good ... new and refreshed models to its enterprise desktop and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):