electronics miniaturization heads towards a theoretical physical limit in the
tens of nanometers, new methods of manufacturing are required to produce
transistors, diodes, and other fundamental electronic components. In this vein, a new range of molecule-sized
devices have been created in the laboratory, though with varying results in
terms of efficiency and practicality. Now a group of researchers from Berkeley
Lab and Columbia University claims to have created the highest-performing,
single-molecule diode ever made, which is said to be 50 times better in
performance and efficiency than anything previously produced.
In quantum cryptography, encoding entangled photons with particular spin states is a technique that ensures data transmitted over fiber networks arrives at its destination without being intercepted or changed. However, as each entangled pair is usually only capable of being encoded with one state (generally the direction of its polarization), the amount of data carried is limited to just one quantum bit per photon. To address this limitation, researchers have now devised a way to "hyperentangle" photons that they say can increase the amount of data carried by a photon pair by as much as 32 times.
Researchers have discovered an unlikely source of renewable energy, the naturally-occurring cycle that is water evaporation. Scientists at New York's Columbia University replicated this process in the laboratory and harnessed its energy to power tiny machines, one of which was a moving, miniature car. The team says the technology could potentially to be scaled up to one day draw power from huge resting bodies of water such as bays and reservoirs.