All the recent hype surrounding stolen mobile phones could be solved with a 007-style self-destruct chip which would immobilise a mobile phone at the behest of its rightful owner, according to US scientists.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego, say that they have developed a porous silicon chip, treated with gadolinium nitrate, that could explode the moment it got a signal to do so, rendering the device useless.
The university said that the chip could be used in mobile phones, laptops or digital cameras.
Michael Sailor, the man behind the chip, made the discovery when one of the researchers tried to divide the porous silicon chip that had been treated with gadolinium nitrate. The chip subsequently exploded.
"It was like a cap going off in a cap gun," said Sailor, adding that only small voltages were needed to ignite the chip. "You don't need any sophisticated devices."
Although unlikely to harm a thief, the exploding chip would silence a stolen device and may go some way at least to reducing the menace of mobile phone theft.
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