Jul 8, 2016

New record in microwave detection

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Aalto University scientists have broken the world record by fourteen fold in the energy resolution of thermal photodetection.

The record was made using a partially superconducting microwave detector. The discovery may lead to ultrasensitive cameras and accessories for the emerging quantum computer.

Artistic image of a hybrid superconductor-metal microwave detector

Figure 1: Artistic image of a hybrid superconductor-metal microwave detector. (Image: Ella Maru Sudio)

The first of the two key enabling developments is the new detector design consisting of tiny pieces of superconducting aluminum and a golden nanowire. This design guarantees both efficient absorption of incoming photons and very sensitive readout. The whole detector is smaller than a single human blood cell.

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