Scientists have created an electronic device so accurate that it can detect the charge of a single electron in less than one microsecond. It has been dubbed the 'gate sensor' and could be applied in quantum computers of the future to read information stored in the charge or spin of a single electron.
As computers continue to shrink -- moving from desks and laps to hands and wrists -- memory has to become smaller, stable and more energy conscious. A group of researchers is trying to do just that with help from a new class of materials, whose magnetism can essentially be controlled by the flick of a switch.
New understanding of the nature of electromagnetism could lead to antennas small enough to fit on computer chips -- the 'last frontier' of semiconductor design -- and could help identify the points where theories of classical electromagnetism and quantum mechanics overlap.
Researchers have developed a new lithography technique that uses nanoscale spheres to create 3-D structures with biomedical, electronic and photonic applications. The new technique is less expensive than conventional methods and does not rely on stacking two-dimensional patterns to create 3-D structures.
Researchers have chemically engineered a new, electrically conductive nanomaterial that is flexible enough to fold, but strong enough to support many times its own weight. They believe it can be used to improve electrical energy storage, water filtration and radiofrequency shielding in technology from portable electronics to coaxial cables.
Electrical engineers have demonstrated a new kind of building block for digital integrated circuits. Their experiments show that future computer chips could be based on three-dimensional arrangements of nanometer-scale magnets instead of transistors. As CMOS, the main enabling technology of the semiconductor industry, approaches fundamental limits, researchers are exploring 'magnetic computing' as an alternative.
Faster, smaller, greener computers, capable of processing information up to 1,000 times faster than currently available models, could be made possible by replacing silicon with materials that can switch back and forth between different electrical states.
Researchers have demonstrated a breakthrough technique that offers the first possibility of silicon detectors for telecommunications. For decades, silicon has been the foundation of the microelectronics revolution and, owing to its excellent optical properties in the near- and mid-infrared range, is now promising to have a similar impact on photonics.