The development of science and technology grows in leaps and boundaries phase, especially in this 21st century, when everything seems to change in rapid speed.
Many of the scientists and astronomers have discovered that the universe was formed 14 billion years ago, while our mother planet, The Earth just a measly 4.55 billion years old. For this purpose, a newly and high-tech nano-sized electronic device has been developed, which it can be used to see the 98% invisible light dating that emitted since the first universe “bing bang”.
This diminutive nano-sized electronic device is the fine project cooperation in between the physicsts at Rutgers University, the State University of New York at Buffalo and the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It is an ultra sensitive to track the light in the far-infrared spectrum (the longest wave in the infrared wavelengths) and the size of this device is 100 times smaller than the thickness of your hair!
According to the Micheal Gershenson, the famous professor of physics at Rutgers University, and one of the lead developers in this nano-sized electronic device, described that the earliest stars move away from us almost at the speed of light. Thus, their light is mostly in a red-shifted or infrared form when it reaches us on the Earth.
The Earth’s atmosphere will consequently absorbs most of the far-infrared light, and this will causing difficulties for the Earth-based radio telescopes to detect the ultra faint light which emitted by these faraway stars. The scientists and astronomers have had agreed that the recent exist Earth-based radio telescopes is not sensitive enough to capture the light, and humankind needs a new generation of space telescopes to gather this infrared light.
Therefore, a new type of detector of infrared and submilimeter waves, which known as bolometer will function as a measurer for the heat generated by the time they absorb photons or the units of light. “The new device we built here is 100 times more sensitive then the existing bolometer, and we named this device as hot-electron nanobolometer, which it will react faster to the light that hits on it,” Gershenson said.
Gershenson and Boris Karasik (Jet scientist of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is a NASA center managed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech)) lead this nano-sized electronic device research team. The others dedicated scientists/developers that involved in this nano-sized electronic device are:
- Jian Wei, a Rutgers University’s graduate student (Recently a post-doctoral associate at the Northwestern University)
- David Olaya, a postdoctoral researcher now with the National Institute if Standards and Technology
- Sergey Pereverzev, a postdoctoral researcher that currently work with JPL and CalTech
In other hand, the theoretical support for this research was fully in charge and provided by Andrei Sergeev, a physic professor of the State University of New York at Buffalo.
The electronic device is made of titanium and niobium metals, is about 500 nanometers long and 100 nanometers wide in size. The physicists used the computer chip fabrication concept, adapting it into a more sophisticated, and high-tech method, where by using the think-film and nanolithorography techniques. This device can only be operated in very cold temperatures (I mean “extremely cold”) about 459 degrees below the zero Fahrenheit!
This is how the nano-sized electronic device works:
- Photons will first strike the nanodetector heat electrons in the titanium section, where it is thermally isolated from the environment by super conducting the niobium leads.
- One can measure the light energy that absorbed by the detector, once it has been detected the infinitesimal amount of heat generated in the titanium section.
“Our final goal is to build and test an array of 100 by 100 photodetectors, which is still a very tough challenge to us at the present engineering job,” said Gershenson. He also expected that the detector technology will be widely been used in exploring the early universe, when the satellite-based far-infrared telescopes start growing into a mature phase in the upcoming 10 to 20 years from now.
However, human race still have limited knowledge about the outer space and we still have a long journey to go beyond the frontier…[Source]