Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Better lasers for optical communications

12.04.2011
A new laser procedure could boost optical fiber communications; this technique could become essential for the future expansion of the Internet. It also opens up new frontiers in basic research

Long-distance, high speed communications depend on lasers. But when information is transmitted down fiber optic cables, it's critical that the signal be clear enough to be decoded at the other end.

Two factors are important in this respect: the color of the light, otherwise known as the wavelength, and the orientation of the light wave, known as polarization. A team from EPFL and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) has developed a technique that improves control over these two parameters.

"All indications are that this technology could be useful at both industrial and scientific levels," explains Eli Kapon, head of EPFL's Laboratory of Physics of Nanostructures. More than fifteen years of research were required to arrive at this result, work that "has caused many headaches and demanded significant investment."

To obtain the right wavelength, the EPFL researchers adapted the lasers' size. In parallel, the EMPA scientists designed a nanometer-scale grating for the emitter in order to control the light's polarization. They were able to achieve this feat by vaporizing long molecules containing gold atoms with a straw-like tool operating above the lasers.

Using an electron microscope, they were able to arrange and attach gold particles to the surface of each laser with extreme precision. Thus deposited, the grating serves as a filter for polarizing the light, much like the lenses of sunglasses are used to polarize sunlight.

Industrial and scientific advantages

This technique, developed in collaboration with EMPA, has many advantages. It allows a high-speed throughput of several gigabits a second with reduced transmission errors. The lasers involved are energy-efficient, consuming up to ten times less than their traditional counterparts, thanks to their small size. The technique is very precise and efficient, due to the use of the electron microscope.

"This progress is very satisfying," adds Kapon, who also outlines some possible applications. "These kinds of lasers are also useful for studying and detecting gases using spectroscopic methods. We will thus make gains in precision by improving detector sensitivity."

Links:
http://lpn.epfl.ch/
http://lpn.epfl.ch/research/index_1.php?research_no=7
http://www.empa.ch/
Source:
Ivo Utke, Martin G. Jenke, Christian Röling, Peter H. Thiesen, Vladimir Iakovlev, Alexei Sirbu, Alexandru Mereuta, Andrei Caliman and Eli Kapon, Polarisation stabilisation of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers by minimally invasive focused electron beam triggered chemistry, Nanoscale, 2011.

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2011/nr/c1nr10047e

Prof. Eli Kapon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.epfl.ch

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones
28.03.2017 | Science China Press

nachricht Timing a space laser with a NASA-style stopwatch
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows

29.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Researchers discover dust plays prominent role in nutrients of mountain forest ecoystems

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

OLED production facility from a single source

29.03.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>