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Top Story

Cat-like 'hearing' with device trillions of times smaller than human eardrum

Researchers are developing atomically thin "drumheads" able to receive and transmit signals across a radio frequency range far greater than what one can hear with the human ear. But the drumheads are tens of trillions of times smaller in volume, and 100,000 times thinner, than the human eardrum. While this work is not geared toward specific devices currently on the market, researchers said, it was focused on measurements, limits and scaling which would be important for essentially all transducers. Those transducers may be developed over the next decade, but for now, the research team has already demonstrated the capability of their key components -- the atomic layer drumheads, or resonators -- at the smallest scale yet. The advances will likely contribute to making the next generation of ultralow-power communications and sensory devices smaller and with greater detection and tuning ranges.

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