Tiny Sensor Combines Lasers, Mechanics
EPFL scientists have developed a rapid, precise opto-mechanical measurement system that can be embedded into a silicon chip. This new technology could revolutionize the domain of sensors and atomic force microscopy.
Resonators are used to detect infinitesimal quantities of matter in the atmosphere. Here’s how it works: when a microscopic string comes into contact with a particle or a gas molecule, it vibrates. Each kind of molecule elicits a specific vibration, a bit like a note on a guitar string, giving it a unique signature that can be used to identify the gas or suspended particle in the air, even in minuscule quantities. With colleagues Pierre Verlot and Emanuel Gavartin, EPFL physicist Tobias Kippenberg has made a critical step towards developing more compact, sensitive and precise sensors.
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