Novel sensor may boost cancer treatment

Scientists say they have developed a new quantum sensor that can outperform existing technologies and promises significant advancements in long-range 3D imaging and monitoring the success of cancer treatments.

The sensors developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada are the first of their kind and are based on semiconductor nanowires that can detect single particles of light with high timing resolution, speed and efficiency over an unparalled wavelength range, from ultraviolet to near-infrared.

The technology, described in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, also has the ability to significantly improve quantum communication and remote sensing capabilities.

“A sensor needs to be very efficient at detecting light. In applications like quantum radar, surveillance, and night-time operation, very few particles of light return to the device,” said principal investigator Michael Reimer, an assistant professor at Waterloo.

“In these cases, you want to be able to detect every single photon coming in,” Mr. Reimer said in a statement.

The next generation quantum sensor designed in Mr. Reimer’s lab is so fast and efficient that it can absorb and detect a single particle of light, called a photon, and refresh for the next one within nanoseconds.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 12:15:04 AM |

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