(AbqJournal) A new $8 million Department of Energy grant will allow Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories to advance techniques and tools to manipulate atomic particles in ways that will allow researchers and industry to eventually build bio and chemical sensors that are far more powerful than today’s devices. The new DOE grant will fund over the next three years at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, or CINT, a facility jointly operated by both labs. Scientists will be able to manipulate individual atoms and particles to perform quantum sensing, basically using electrons to learn about things at the nanoscale, said CINT physicist Michael Lilly. “It would be orders of magnitude more sensitive than traditional technologies,” Lilly said.
Ed Bielejec, manager of Sandia’s Ion Beam Lab, explains the research could create the foundational tools needed not just to learn more about the atomic elements and interactions in materials, but eventually recreate, or fabricate them.
Similar types of research funded by other federal entities at the University of New Mexico’s Center for Quantum Information and Control and the Center for High Technology Materials, could also help harness the quantum mechanics needed to enable quantum computing.