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
Drugs for better long-term treatment of poorly controlled asthma discovered
15.10.2019 | University of South Florida (USF Health)
Epilepsy: Seizures not forecastable as expected
25.09.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Researchers have succeeded in creating an efficient quantum-mechanical light-matter interface using a microscopic cavity. Within this cavity, a single photon is emitted and absorbed up to 10 times by an artificial atom. This opens up new prospects for quantum technology, report physicists at the University of Basel and Ruhr-University Bochum in the journal Nature.
Quantum physics describes photons as light particles. Achieving an interaction between a single photon and a single atom is a huge challenge due to the tiny...
A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)
It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...
Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.
The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...
Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.
Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...
A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.
The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...
02.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
19.09.2019 | Event News
22.10.2019 | Materials Sciences
22.10.2019 | Medical Engineering
22.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering