NIST Researchers Unveil Atomic ‘Swiss Army Knife’ that Precisely Measures Advanced Materials for Quantum Computers
(SciTechDaily) NIST has unveiled blueprint for building a three-in-one measurement tool to study quantum materials.
It images single atoms. It maps atomic-scale hills and valleys on metal and insulating surfaces. And it records the flow of current across atom-thin materials subject to giant magnetic fields. Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a novel instrument that can make three kinds of atom-scale measurements simultaneously. Together, these measurements can uncover new knowledge about a wide range of special materials that are crucial for developing the next generation of quantum computers, communications and a host of other applications.
The new three-in-one instrument is a kind of Swiss Army knife for atom-scale measurements. NIST researcher Joseph Stroscio and his colleagues, including Johannes Schwenk and Sungmin Kim, recently presented a detailed recipe for building the device.
“We describe a blueprint for other people to copy,” Stroscio said. “They can modify the instruments they have; they don’t have to buy new equipment.”
“No single type of measurement provides all the answers for understanding quantum materials,” said NIST researcher Nikolai Zhitenev. “This device, with multiple measuring tools, provides a more comprehensive picture of these materials.”