Single-electron sensitivity

A gate sensor developed by a team at the University of Cambridge is so sensitive it can detect the movement of a single electron. It was in the very same Cavendish Laboratory where J.J. Thomson discovered the electron in 1897. Now, Fernando González Zalba, of the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory and the Cavendish Laboratory and colleagues have published details in the journal Nature Communications that explains how a gate sensor might be used in a future quantum computer. "We have called it a gate sensor because, as well as detecting the movement of individual electrons, the device is able to control its flow as if it were an electronic gate which opens and closes," explains González Zalba.