Physicists developed the smallest magnetic field detector using graphene

Physicists developed the smallest magnetic field detector using graphene

Often these are the most important scientific measurements, and researchers have developed a new, super-small device that is capable of detecting magnetic fields even when highly anesthetized.

Device, a new type Quantum interference device (SQUID), just 10 nanometers high, or one thousandth of the thickness of human hair. It is made from two layers Graphene – It is one of the smallest SQUIDs ever built – it is separated by a very thin layer of boron nitrite.

These spectacular devices are already used in different fields, such as medicine and geography, and they effectively obtain electrons that act as quantum bits. This latest SQUID design should make small tools even more useful to scientists, thanks to their ability to detect very weak magnetic fields.

“Our novel SQUID consists of a complex, six-tiered layer of unique two-dimensional objects.” Says physicist David Indolis From the University of Basel in Switzerland.

Small squid2A regular SQUID (left) and a new SQUID (right). (University of Basel, Department of Physics)

“If two superconducting contacts are connected to this sandwich, it acts like a SQUID – meaning it can be used to detect very weak magnetic fields.”

Conventional SQUIDs act as a loop – a superconducting loop with two ‘weak link’ points. By analyzing the movement of electrons around this cycle, SQUID stops Superconductor, Can measure magnetic fields.

Although these devices can already detect dim magnetic fields, the size of the weak connections is a limitation. By switching to a stacked format instead of a circle, the group magnetic fields behind the new SQUID can be detected even more blurred.

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One thing is possible if we look closely at the technical application of SQUIDs Topographic capacitors: Materials that act as conductors, but electrons can travel on their surface.

“With the new SQUID, we will be able to determine whether these lossless supercurrents are due to the topographical properties of an object, thereby excluding them from non-topographical objects.” Says physicist Christian Schonenberger From the University of Basel.

Wherever magnetic fields are to be measured, SQUIDs are important: for example in monitoring the activity of the heart or brain or in detecting differences in the composition of rocks. Now, those measurements will be more accurate.

This is not the latest SQUID related discovery we see. Scientists are experimenting with different types of materials and nanostructures to get devices smaller and more accurate than ever before.

Meanwhile, the smallest SQUID outlined in this study is ready to use. Scientists can change its sensitivity by adjusting the distance between two layers of graphene and changing the current through it. We are already looking forward to the innovations that will lead to this.

Research has been published Nano letters.

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