Scientists have created a nanodevice that can see through walls
Engineers have developed a nanoscale device that works 10 times faster than the best modern transistors and generates powerful terahertz waves.
The terahertz frequency spectrum is located on the boundary between microwave and infrared radiation, fluctuating in the range of 3 · 1011-3 · 1012 Hz. Such waves are safe for humans, but are able to penetrate clothing, walls and trees, as well as transmit large amounts of data, which in the future can improve wireless communications. So far, THz waves are rarely used because of the complexity and high cost of their generation.
Researchers at the Lausanne Federal Polytechnic School have developed an inexpensive all-electric nanodevice that can instantly generate intense terahertz waves from a tiny source. In the process, it generates a powerful “spark”, with a voltage jump from 10 V to 100 V, in the picosecond range. Every second, the system is capable of producing up to 50 million signals, and when connected to an antenna, emit powerful THz waves.
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The device consists of two metal plates located at a distance of less than 20 nm from each other. When voltage is applied, the electrons are directed to one of the plates, forming a nanoplasma. As soon as the voltage reaches a certain threshold, the particles move almost instantly into the second plate. Such a fast jump creates an intense pulse that produces high-frequency waves.
According to scientists, this technology can revolutionize security systems, wireless communications, medical imaging, and sounding. The compact size of the devices will allow in the future to place them even on smartphones and flexible wearable electronics.
Earlier we also reported on the invention of a generator that produces electricity from air.