Scientists have managed to develop the smallest radio receiver in the world using only two atoms as sort of building block.
The last few decades have marked significant technological advances. Starting from computers and maybe ending with phones, technology is changing seemingly every moment.
We now have smartphones that can encompass maybe all the other devices. And all at seemingly smaller scale. However, that does not mean that other devices are not being changes as well.
A perfect example of size reduction is the latest radio receiver. A team of Harvard University researchers has developed the smallest radio in the world.
The study was led by Marko Loncar, the SEAS Tiantsai Lin Professor of Electrical Engineering.
Research details and specifications were released earlier this month. On December 15, they published their study in the Physical Review Applied journal.
It was titled as follows. “Diamond Radio Receiver: Nitrogen-Vacancy Centers as Fluorescent Transducers of Microwave Signals”.
As the research title might suggest, this smallest radio has an unusual component. More exactly, it has a diamond-based composition.
Its building blocks are only as big as two atoms. The radio functions based on pink diamonds with nano-sized flaws. Its micro scale built does not ensure the best sound quality.
However, it is useful for playing local radio station as it works perfectly on playing music. Although the smallest radio receiver may not receive sound quality prizes, it is still unique.
Its properties span way beyond its Lilliputian size. The smallest radio in the world presents many advantages thanks to its composition.
Its diamond basis could prove to be an invaluable asset. The pink diamond base ensures the receiver’s high resistance. The nanotechnology is capable of withstanding extreme conditions.
Future versions of the radio could come to be used in such environments. As such, they could go up in space or other similar condition locations.
The diamond-based technology could also determine computing advances. It could come to be transposed to quantum computing. As such, it could potentially determine future computing processes. It may also lead to their leaps and bounds advancement.
A Harvard statement went to offer details on the Lilliputian radio. Complete details were released on the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences university blog.
According to it, the research time made use of the pure carbon structure of diamonds. Their uniform structure was used so as to create flaws. These useful flaws were transformed into NV centers.
NV centers are nitrogen-vacancy centers. They are very tiny, just two atoms wide. NV centers have useful properties. They are capable of detecting magnetic fields. Nitrogen-vacancy centers can also emit single photons.
After being subjected to green laser light, their properties increased. NV electrons were excited by the green light. As such, they also became capable of detecting electromagnetic fields. These include the radio waves.
Such gathered electromagnetic fields were then transformed into red light signals. The red light was read by a photodiode. This converted it into a current that was later transformed into sound.
By generating a strong magnetic field, researchers were also able to change the radio’s frequency.
Despite being the smallest radio in the world, the receiver is fully functional. It has a tuning capability of more than 300 MHz. FM radio waves are usually contained within 87.5 to 108 MHz, in contrast.
Research generated billion of such NV centers. However, the tiny receiver could technically work with just one center. Still, that would make it more difficult to detect.
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