2014-03-17 Leave a comment
There is a short article in the Nature magazine by a Danish team of researchers about ‘Optical detection of radio waves through a nanomechanical transducer’.
In other words, a resonant nano-scale capacitor is fed with a radio signal. A radio signal induced oscillations in this capacitors make it vibrate – like a tiny micro piezo-mechanical quartz. The oscillations are then read using reflected laser light so it works like an up-conversion with optical spectrum used for IF (intermediate frequency) and detection.
I believe, it should be fairly possible to print such up-converters fairly cheap on a silicon wafer – a tiny solid-state laser (LED), photo-diode, and reflecting radio-detecting surface so the application possibilities are endless – e.g. software-defined nano antenna arrays, imaging in gigahertz/terahertz spectrum, highly accurate 3D scanners, ultra sensitive receiver front-ends, etc
See full article about this discovery at U of MD website: http://cmns.umd.edu/news-events/news/1886