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NIST Develops Subatomic-Scale Motion Detector for Robotic, Natl Security Uses

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has created a tool that works to measure the motion of subatomic particles for potential use in robotic and homeland security operations.

NIST said Thursday the plasmonic gap resonator is designed to sense displacements of microscopic bodies which can help detect biological or chemical agents; fine-tune the movement of miniature robots; deploy airbags and track weak sound waves.

NIST physicists Brian Roxworthy and Vladimir Aksyuk provided details about the project in a joint article for Nature Communications.

Roxworthy and Aksyuk also hope the resonators can help miniaturize mechanical structures that support scientific measurements and practical sensors.

The scientists also developed a fabrication method to produce approximately 25,000 copies of the device on a computer chip and build each resonator’s motion detection features according to the manufacturer’s needs, NIST noted.

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