A new quantum device that can last a whole year on a single burst of energy has been invented

Energy consumption techniques are going on at full force

The world is getting more digitised as the years go on, and if we are not careful, we will end up depleting a lot of our planet’s energy reserves. For that, scientists are inventing new devices that are able to work for long periods by consuming less energy.

The latest electronic device that they have come up with can last a whole year on a single burst of energy, and a phenomenon known as quantum tunnelling comes into play here.

Quantum tunnelling

Chakrabartty Lab

The quantum rules of physics apply for the smallest atom scales, and let’s electrons behave as both waves and particles. The scientists were able to make full use of that accurately control electron flow from one side of a circuit to the next. With the help of a 50-million-electron jumpstart, they were able to make this simple and cheap device (which consists of only four capacitors and two transistors) last for long periods of time.

For generating current, a device needs to give the electrons within them a hard push, which is known as threshold energy, as the push has to be over a particular threshold. Hitting that threshold can get difficult when you’re designing a device that uses very little power.

Enter quantum mechanics. For overcoming that barrier, it helps control the flow of electrons in multiple ways. They were able to produce the minimum amount of energy that was needed to move an electron. The end product was a device that uses the interplay between toe internal systems to identify and collect data without using extra power. Such a device can be used to monitor glucose in the blood, or measure the temperature of vaccines while transporting them. Use of batteries are not required.