Scientists have come up with a laser like device, as small as a grain of rice, which has been termed as “maser.” Developed by the researchers of Princeton University, the device uses microwaves instead of a light beam. Lead researcher Dr. Jason Petta said “It is basically as small as you can go with these single-electron devices.” He further elaborated that this technology includes “quantum dots” which are petite particles having the capability of converting one absorbed wavelength into a completely different wavelength. The researchers also mentioned that about one-billionth of the power required to run a hair dryer is utilized by the device.
Pairs of artificial molecules, composed of semiconducting material, have been linked by the researchers which are called as double quantum dots. Princeton University electrical engineer Caire Gmachl explained “The double quantum dot allows them complete manage more than the motion of even a single electron, and in return they show how the coherent microwave field is made and amplified. Mastering to handle these fundamental light-matter interaction processes will assist in the future improvement of light sources.”
Petta further stated “The remarkable feature of this device is that it is ‘pumped’ by single electrons tunnelling from one quantum dot to another. It is like a line of people crossing a wide stream by leaping onto a rock so small that it can only hold one person. They are forced to cross the stream one at a time.”
According to adjunct professor at the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland-National Institute of Standards and Technology, Jacob Taylor the technology is very important for entanglement between quantum bits in semiconductor-based devices. The research team of Princeton has for the first time demonstrated the association between two double quantum dots which are separated by a substantial distance, nearly a centimetre. The device could prove to be very helpful in making advancements in medicine, communications and sensing.