Tiny antennas that would fit on computer chips will be possible thanks to a major breakthrough in electromagnetism technology, say University of Cambridge scientists in what they describe as the “last frontier of semiconductor design.”
The Cambridge research team, led by Professor Gehan Amaratunga, says its new insight into electromagnetism could help identify the points where the theories of both classical electromagnetism and quantum mechanics merge.
Prof. Amaratunga and colleagues believe they have cracked one of the enigmas of electromagnetism, which they claim will make it possible to create microscopic antennas so tiny that can be fitted into micro-electronic chips.
A huge leap for wireless communications
These super-small antennas would represent a major milestone for wireless communications, the researchers wrote in the journal Physical Review Letters.
The authors explained that electromagnetic waves are generated not only from the acceleration of electrons, but also from symmetry breaking.
Electron acceleration caused by radiation is a phenomenon that was first identified more than one century ago. It has no equivalent, that current scientists know of, in quantum mechanics, where they say electrons jump from higher to lower energy states.
The authors said their new observations of radiation resulting from broken symmetry of the electric field may reveal some associations between the two fields.
Antennas are places in communications towers and mobile devices to launch energy into free space in the form of electromagnetic or radio waves, and to collect energy from free space to feed data into devices.
Modern electronics has been constrained by a major challenge – antenna size. They are still bulky and incompatible with electronic circuits, which are getting smaller and smaller all the time.
Antennas, the major obstacle in micro-electronics
“Antennas, or aerials, are one of the limiting factors when trying to make smaller and smaller systems, since below a certain size, the losses become too great.”
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