Researchers have figured out how to mass-produce tiny mechanical devices that could help mobile phone users avoid the hassle of dropped calls and slow downloads. The devices are designed to alleviate air wave congestion in order to improve the performance of mobile phones and other portable devices.
"There is not enough radio spectrum to serve portable devices around the world," said Jeffrey Rhoads, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University.
Overcrowding leads to call interruptions, busy signals, poorer call quality, and slower downloads. To counter the problem, the industry is trying to build systems that operate with more clearly defined channels so that more of them can fit within the available bandwidth.
The Purdue team has created devices called nanoelectromechanical resonators, which contain a small beam of silicon that vibrates when a voltage is applied. Researchers have shown that the new devices are produced with an efficiency of almost 100%, that is to say, it has been observed that practically all the devices created on silicon wafers work correctly.
The results have been detailed in a research paper that appears published online in the journal IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology.