System combines sensor properties
What is unique is that as the string emits only a tiny amount of energy to its surroundings, the system might function at room temperature. Having said this, interactions with the environment affect the quantum state of the string, making it particularly sensitive to any kind of external disruption. Weig and her team want to make use of this fact. The vibrations of the nanoscale strings could be influenced by “targeted” disturbances connected to other systems. So they could be used as detectors or sensors for specific interactions. “Our system unites quantum mechanics and mechanical vibrations. These features could enable the sensors to become a potent and versatile quantum sensor, which could be used to detect tiny magnetic fields and forces,” says Weig.
The article was already published on the website "Research in Bavaria" of the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and Arts: