Harvard Scientists Builds World’s Smallest Radio Receiver Using Atomic-Scale Components

Harvard Scientists Builds World’s Smallest Radio Receiver Using Atomic-Scale Components

by Sukanya Mukherjee, Hexapolis

A team of Harvard scientists have created the world’s tiniest radio receiver using components about the size of two atoms. Made from an assortment of microscopic defects in pink diamonds, the contraption can weather extreme environmental conditions, making it suitable for use on hostile planets, like Venus. What’s more, its biocompatible and is therefore safe to be used inside a pacemaker within the human body.

Recently published in the Physical Review Applied journal, the research was conducted by a team from Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, with Marko Loncar and Linbo Shao as the leaders. Central to the machine’s functioning are atomic-scale imperfections inside pink diamonds, also known as nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers. To create these defects, the scientists replaced one of the eight carbon atoms in the diamond crystal with a nitrogen atom, while also removing an adjacent atom.

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