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Chip could turn smartphones into bomb sensors

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Engineers have built tiny terahertz chips (shown with a penny for scale above) that could one day be incorporated into handheld devices that scan for explosives.

Researchers at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) developed the inexpensive silicon microchips that generate and radiate high-frequency electromagnetic waves, called terahertz (THz) waves, which can penetrate a host of materials without the ionizing damage of X-rays.

“Using the same low-cost, integrated-circuit technology that’s used to make the microchips found in our cell phones and notepads today, we have made a silicon chip that can operate at nearly 300 times their speed,” says Ali Hajimiri of Caltech. “These chips will enable a new generation of extremely versatile sensors.”

Full story at Futurity.

More research news from top universities.

Photo credit: Kaushik Sengupta/Caltech

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