Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Microwave fridges and nano diving boards

Abstract:
NPL scientists are paving the way for highly accurate measurement at the nano-scale and beyond, by being the first team in the world to develop a tiny microwave-powered room-temperature fridge.

Microwave fridges and nano diving boards

UK | Posted on October 8th, 2009

This microwave 'fridge' is unlike the one in your kitchen. Rather than chilling pints of milk, it cools tiny devices called 'micro' or 'nano-scale mechanical resonators' to a decidedly frosty -170 C. It is important to cool down these devices, which look and behave like tiny diving boards (the simplest type of mechanical resonator, with a well-defined resonant frequency, like a tuning fork), so that they can be measured accurately.

Heat is a killer when trying to make an accurate measurement. Any material that is warmer than absolute zero (-273 C) will have atoms moving around inside it, and this makes it very difficult to measure accurately (just as it would be very difficult to weigh a person who was jumping around on the scales).

Now imagine how much easier it would be to weigh the person if they were standing still - this is effectively what NPL has achieved. We have developed a technique that selectively cools down just the property of a sample that needs to be measured. This selective cooling saves an enormous amount of energy, as it means you don't have to waste energy cooling an entire sample when you are only interested in cooling and measuring a tiny fraction of it.

This technique will be of great use in nano-scale and quantum physics as it allows scientists to detect tiny changes in physical factors such as mass, force and displacement by measuring accurately changes in the resonant frequency of the diving board. This means it can be used in applications where highly sensitive detection is needed, such as bio-analytical screening for viruses (by catching a virus on the diving board!). In the longer term this technique could lead to development of even more sensitive 'quantum' diving boards which could be used to examine the really big questions of quantum physics, such as "At what scale do quantum effects break down?".

For more information on this research read 'Excitation, detection, and passive cooling of a micromechanical cantilever using near-field of a microwave resonator', published in the journal Applied Physics Letters 95, 113501 (2009) doi:10.1063/1.3224912 on 16 September 2009.

####

About National Physical Laboratory
As the UKs National Measurement Institute, NPLs mission is:

* Excellence in science
* Increased exploitation of that science to boost UK competitiveness and quality of life
* Integrity and independence as a national asset
* Enhanced international standing

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr Ling Hao
Team Time Quantum and Electromagnetics

Phone +44 20 8943 6296

Copyright © National Physical Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

GrapheneCanada 2016 International Conference: Recent advances in technology developments and business opportunities in graphene commercialization August 31st, 2016

FEI Celebrates Shipment of 1,000th Helios DualBeam System: FEIs Helios Family has lead the DualBeam technology race and is widely used across the semiconductor, materials science, life sciences and oil & gas industries August 31st, 2016

Colors from darkness: Researchers develop alternative approach to quantum computing August 31st, 2016

Diamonds and quantum information processing on the nano scale August 31st, 2016

Laboratories

A new way to display the 3-D structure of molecules: Metal-organic frameworks provide a new platform for solving the structure of hard-to-study samples August 21st, 2016

Scientists uncover origin of high-temperature superconductivity in copper-oxide compound: Analysis of thousands of samples reveals that the compound becomes superconducting at an unusually high temperature because local electron pairs form a 'superfluid' that flows without resist August 19th, 2016

Let's roll: Material for polymer solar cells may lend itself to large-area processing: 'Sweet spot' for mass-producing polymer solar cells may be far larger than dictated by the conventional wisdom August 12th, 2016

NREL technique leads to improved perovskite solar cells August 11th, 2016

Announcements

GrapheneCanada 2016 International Conference: Recent advances in technology developments and business opportunities in graphene commercialization August 31st, 2016

FEI Celebrates Shipment of 1,000th Helios DualBeam System: FEIs Helios Family has lead the DualBeam technology race and is widely used across the semiconductor, materials science, life sciences and oil & gas industries August 31st, 2016

Colors from darkness: Researchers develop alternative approach to quantum computing August 31st, 2016

Diamonds and quantum information processing on the nano scale August 31st, 2016

Quantum nanoscience

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

Prototype chip could help make quantum computing practical: Built-in optics could enable chips that use trapped ions as quantum bits August 9th, 2016

Diamond-based light sources will lay a foundation for quantum communications of the future: Electrified quantum diamond can become the heart of quantum networks and computers of the future August 7th, 2016

Scientists discover light could exist in a previously unknown form August 6th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic