A Silicon Microchip Acts As An X-ray Tool
A silicon microchip that can act as an X-ray tool for any electric device has been developed by the engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Ali Hajimiri and Kaushik Sengupta report, they have used the same cheap integrated-circuit technology that’s currently used to make the microchips for our cell phones and notepads. These chips can operate at nearly 300 times their speed and will enable a new generation of sensors able to be adapted to many different functions. It can generate and radiate high-frequency electromagnetic waves, called terahertz (THz) waves, that get into a variety of materials without ionizing damage of X-rays. Rendering image details in high resolution, the THz waves can detect the chemical fingerprints of pharmaceutical drugs, biological weapons, illegal drugs or explosives. This handy and inexpensive technology can be incorporated into most portable devices, and might be applied in homeland security, wireless communications, healthcare, and even gaming.