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New Superconducting Film Resists a Magnet's Power to Thwart It

04-02-20

To Professor Joseph Falson, electrons are like exotic supercars and his lab wants to build the racetrack. In Falson's analogy, he likens that to driving the supercar down a cobblestone street that limits its speed. "Our job is not to make the supercar, it's just to make the highway," he says. The problem for those who seek to study superconductivity and eventually make practical use of it is that, so far, it has been realized only at ultracold temperatures no warmer than -70 degrees Celsius. "There is a very strong push to realize room-temperature superconductivity—it is one of the holy grails of science," Falson says, "because then you are going to employ these materials in motors or transmission lines, and the loss would be significantly less. It would revolutionize society." [Caltech story]

Tiny Optical Cavity Could Make Quantum Networks Possible

03-31-20

Professor Andrei Faraon and team have shown that atoms in optical cavities—tiny boxes for light—could be foundational to the creation of a quantum internet. They identified a rare-earth ytterbium ion in the center of a beam. The ytterbium ions are able to store information in their spin for 30 milliseconds. In this time, light could transmit information to travel across the continental United States. "It's a rare-earth ion that absorbs and emits photons in exactly the way we'd need to create a quantum network," says Faraon. "This could form the backbone technology for the quantum internet." [Caltech story]

Best Student Paper Award at IEEE CICC Conference

03-25-20

Professor Azita Emami's group in collaboration with Professor Wei Gao’s group has won the best student paper award at the 2020 IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference. The title of the paper is "A Fully-Integrated Biofuel-Cell-Based Energy Harvester with 86% Peak Efficiency and 0.25V Minimum Input Voltage Using Source-Adaptive MPPT." The IEEE CICC is a premier conference devoted to integrated circuit development. The conference program is a blend of oral presentations, exhibits, panels and forums. The conference sessions present original first published technical work and innovative circuit techniques that tackle practical problems. [Read the paper] [Past recipients]