Lucy Sherriff

Lucy Sherriff is a journalist, science geek and general liker of all things techie and clever. In a previous life she put her physics degree to moderately good use by writing about science for that other tech website, The Register. After a bit of a break, it seemed like a good time to start blogging about weird quantum stuff for ZDNet. And so here we are.

Latest Posts

Supercharged silicon superposition smashes records

Superposition, the weird quantum state of existing in two places at once, is a notoriously unstable condition. But now a team of scientists at Oxford University, Simon Frase University and Berlin University report that they have managed to coax a the spins of ultra-pure silicon’s atomic nuclei to remain superpositioned for an astonishing three minutes and 12 seconds.

June 11, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff


Graphene finds work as rust-proof coating

While researchers hoping to make graphene a serious contender to silicon’s electronic throne have some work still ahead of them, the material is finding more immediate application in other industrial areas.(This is probably the materials science version of waiting tables while auditioning for film roles in your spare time.

May 31, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff


Hydrogen could be key to logic for graphene oxide

Researchers at Georgia Tech in the US have found that the availability of hydrogen might be the key to making graphene oxide behave well enough for use in nanoelectronics.It turns out that for more than a month after production, graphene oxide continues to interact with hydrogen, if it is available.

May 23, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Samsung draws logic-worthy on/off ratio from graphene

Researchers at Samsung’s Advance Institute of Technology have developed a new transistor structure using everyone’s favourite two-dimensional material, Graphene.Despite its wonderful conductivity, electron mobility and so on that make it such an alluring prospect for chip designers bumping into the physical limits of silicon, it has no band gap.

May 22, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff


Quantum dots boost graphene's photodetector dreams

Researchers working at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona have built a super-sensitive photodetector by combining graphene with semiconducting quantum dots that outperforms other graphene based devices by a billion times.Speaking to PhysicsWorld , lead researcher Gerasimos Konstantatos explains: “We managed to successfully combine graphene with semiconducting nanocrystals to create complete new functionalities in terms of light sensing and light conversion to electricity.

May 18, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff


Protein plus graphene equals enzyme detecting paper

Earlier this year, a group of researchers grew their own circuitry using proteins found in milk, mucus and blood. In a similar vein, scientists in Switzerland have announced work on layering proteins with graphene to create a new kind of conductive paper.

May 8, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff


Layered graphene bests ITO's transparent conductivity

Sandwiching Ferric Chloride between two layers of graphene results in the most flexible, transparent conductive material ever, according to scientists at Exeter University.In a paper in Advanced Materials, the scientists describe how the sandwiching improves graphene’s poor conductivity – relative to the current transparent conductor of choice in electronics: Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).

May 4, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff


300 atom quantum simulator smashes qubit record

An international group of scientists, working with the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) in the US have built the world’s largest ever quantum simulator, smashing previous record for the number of qubits. The device, which has passed a series of benchmarking tests, could be used to simulate problems in quantum mechanics that would be utterly intractable for a conventional computer.

May 1, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff


Bismuth films exhibit graphene-like behaviour

MIT researchers have identified a new material that shares many of graphene’s interesting properties. Writing in Nano Letters, the researchers describe how thin films of bismuth-antimony share a property with graphene called two-dimensional Dirac cones.

April 27, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff


IBM demos tunable terahertz filters

Graphene has shown itself, once again, to be capable of great wonders, as IBM demonstrates a notch filter that operates in the terahertz – or infrared - range. The company also showed off a linear polariser using the same stacked material.

April 25, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff