Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breakthrough technique offers prospect of silicon detectors for telecommunications

06.10.2014

A team of researchers, led by the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, has demonstrated a breakthrough technique that offers the first possibility of silicon detectors for telecommunications.

For decades, silicon has been the foundation of the microelectronics revolution and, owing to its excellent optical properties in the near- and mid-infrared range, is now promising to have a similar impact on photonics.

The team's research, reported in the journal Nature Materials, describes engineering the electronic band structure of laser-crystallised silicon photonic devices to help overcome one of the key challenges of using silicon in data communications.

The laser processing technique has been developed for their silicon optical fibre platform. It demonstrates that it is possible to completely crystallise the core material, while at the same time writing in large stresses to modify the optoelectronic properties, achieving extreme bandgap reductions from 1.11 eV down to 0.59 eV, enabling optical detection out to 2,100 nm.

Incorporating silicon materials within the fibre geometry avoids the issues associated with coupling between the micron-sized fibres used for the transport of light, and the nanoscale waveguides on-chip that are employed for data processing and communications systems.

Dr Anna Peacock, an Associate Professor in Optoelectronics who heads the group in the ORC, comments: "The ability to grow single crystal-like materials directly inside the fibre core is a truly exciting prospect as, for the first time, the optoelectronic properties of the silicon fibre devices will be able to approach those of their on-chip counterparts."

Dr Noel Healy, the lead researcher on the project, adds: "Our discovery uses large variable strains to provide unprecedented control over silicon's optoelectronic properties. This greatly increases the number of potential applications for the material in both electrical and optical applications.

"Our paper shows that we can halve the material's bandgap energy. That means silicon can now be considered as a medium for optical detection all the way through the telecommunications band."

Fellow researcher Dr Sakellaris Mailis points out that this versatile laser processing method can be easily extended to a wide range of material systems.

Full bibliographic information

Extreme electronic bandgap modification in laser-crystallized ​silicon optical fibres
Noel Healy, Sakellaris Mailis, Nadezhda M. Bulgakova, Pier J. A. Sazio, Todd D. Day, Justin R. Sparks, Hiu Y. Cheng, John V. Badding & Anna C. Peacock
Nature Materials (2014)
doi:10.1038/nmat4098
To read the paper in full visit: http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmat4098.html

Notes for editors

1. The attached image shows a single-crystal-like silicon core fibre with a thermodynamic snap shot of the laser heating.

2. Nature Materials i s a respected multi-disciplinary journal that brings together cutting-edge research across the entire spectrum of materials science and engineering.

To read the paper in full visit: http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmat4098.html

3. The full collaborative research team includes Professor N. Bulgakova currently at HiLASE, Institute of Physics ASCR; Professor J. Badding, Dr T. Day, Dr J. Sparks, and Ms H. Cheng of the Department of Chemistry and the Materials Research Institute at Penn State University, and Dr P. Sazio of the ORC. A significant component of the work was conducted using the Diamond Light Source with the assistance of Dr K. Ignatyev.

4. Through world-leading research and enterprise activities, the University of Southampton connects with businesses to create real-world solutions to global issues. Through its educational offering, it works with partners around the world to offer relevant, flexible education, which trains students for jobs not even thought of. This connectivity is what sets Southampton apart from the rest; we make connections and change the world. http://www.southampton.ac.uk/

http://www.southampton.ac.uk/weareconnected

#weareconnected
For more information:
Glenn Harris, Media Relations, University of Southampton, Tel 023 8059 3212, email G.Harris@soton.ac.uk, Twitter: @glennh75

www.soton.ac.uk/mediacentre/

Follow us on twitter: http://twitter.com/unisouthampton

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/unisouthampton

Glenn Harris | AlphaGalileo

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht New silicon structure opens the gate to quantum computers
12.12.2017 | Princeton University

nachricht PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems
11.12.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration IZM

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation

12.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>