Soon, smartphones may have see-through vision
The new kind of computer chip operates in the part of the radio spectrum, known as the terahertz range. In this range, wavelengths of radiation are longer than infrared light and shorter than those of high-frequency radio.
Terahertz radiation can penetrate solids in a way similar to X rays, but because it doesn't carry as much energy, it on't damage tissue, the Discovery News reported.
Such devices have been making their way into law enforcement and security but they are big and expensive to set up.
Now, electrical engineers Ali Hajimiri and Kaushik Sengupta of the California Institute of Technology have managed to bring the size down to something that could fit into a handheld device. They built a microchip that both broadcasts and receives terahertz radiation.
The chip itself is made with the same technologies used in ordinary cell phones and computers. The challenge was making one that would transmit and receive terahertz frequencies.
It turned out that having several transistors on the device operating at the same time was the best way to accomplish that. The transistors are synchronised in such a
way that the waves they generate reinforce certain frequencies and cancel out others.
The researchers still needed to get past another problem: above a certain frequency, a transistor won't work and thus won't amplify a signal. This is called the cut-off frequency.
By operating the
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