Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists design a tool for detection of rogue molecules “on the run”

16.04.2002

A research group of the Microtechnology Centre at Chalmers, MC2, at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, has developed an ultra-sensitive device for detecting the presence of organic molecules present in space. Organic material as far away from us as many thousands of light years can be discovered this way. The sensor, which has a world record for sensing low amounts of heat, will be a vital part in satellite systems for the Herschel Mission, a remote sensing satellite project at the European Space Agency planned for launching in 2007.

The new device makes use of a so called “hot electron bolometer”, sensitive for radiation from very small heat sources, occuring when molecules vibrate and rotate. The frequencies of this radiation are between those of heat and those of radiowaves. While standard “HF” radiowaves have frequencies in the region of millions of Hertz, this radiation is found at thousands of billions of Hertz. The heat waves appearing from molecules far out in the Universe create “heated” electrons in an antenna which are transferred to a piece of superconducting material with a thickness of 3 and a length of 150 nanometers. This makes the superconducting material change into a normal conductor, giving rise to a dramatic change in electrical resistance which can be detected by an electronic amplifier. All parts of the system have extreme electrical properties from the points of view of sensitivity and noise. The ingredients, detector and amplifier give a maximum resolution power to squeeze information out of any molecular heat spectra.

The bolometric detector device is made of an ultrathin layer of niobiumnitride, a material that is superconducting at temperatures below -263C. With its extremely small dimensions, more than thousand detectors would fit in a cross section of a human hair.

The new device will be presented at the Hannover Fair, April 15 – 20 this year, by the Microtechnology Centre at Chalmers, MC2.

Jorun Fahle | alphagalileo
Further information:
http://www.chalmers.se

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht The Internet of Things: TU Graz researchers increase the dependability of smart systems
18.02.2019 | Technische Universität Graz

nachricht Stanford researchers create a wireless, battery-free, biodegradable blood flow sensor
09.01.2019 | Stanford University

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

Im Focus: Sensing shakes

A new way to sense earthquakes could help improve early warning systems

Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell...

Im Focus: A thermo-sensor for magnetic bits

New concept for energy-efficient data processing technology

Scientists of the Department of Physics at the University of Hamburg, Germany, detected the magnetic states of atoms on a surface using only heat. The...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Heading towards a tsunami of light

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Dalian Coherent Light Source reveals hydroxyl super rotors from water photochemistry

19.03.2019 | Life Sciences

From foam to bone: Plant cellulose can pave the way for healthy bone implants

19.03.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>