, one trillion times smaller than a human eardrum, with a "feline" sensitivity.
Because the communication needs of the world continue to evolve with our gadgets, this new mechanical eardrum promises to surpass even the good old human ear when it comes to accuracy, as evidenced by a new research paper published in Science Advances
Partly made possible by recent developments, the researchers have devised behind the newspaper atomic level eardrums which (obviously) are not only much smaller than a natural eardrum, but also offer unprecedented accuracy. The paper was written by the researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
The device is 10,000,000,000,000 times smaller than a human eardrum, which is 100,000 times thinner in size. The sensitivity level is also a lot higher, detecting frequencies up to 120 MHz on a range of 110dB.
"Sensing and communication are the key to a connected world", says Philip Feng, associate professor of electrical engineering / computer science and co-author of the paper
In the past decades we have been connected to highly miniaturized devices and systems, and we have always sought smaller dimensions for those devices.
The transducer itself is the only piece of the remaining puzzle, because one that can reliably process data at both ends of detection levels has not yet been developed.
Power requirements are another important factor here too, with requirements between only one picoWatt and one nanoWatt per drumhead. They are also expected to be "very quiet devices".
Applications of the drumhead include energy-efficient communication devices as well as devices requiring a high accuracy and tuning range.