The work could bolster the wireless revolution underway with efficiencies several orders of magnitude
Researchers from the ARC Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) in the University of Sydney's Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology have made a breakthrough achieving radio frequency signal control at sub-nanosecond time scales on a chip-scale optical device.
Radio frequency (RF) is a particular range of electromagnetic wave frequencies, widely used for communications and radar signals. The work should impact the current wireless revolution.
The breakthrough was detailed today in the high-impact journal Optica.
CUDOS and School of Physics PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, lead author Yang Liu, said the new research that could unlock the bandwidth bottleneck faced by wireless networks worldwide was undertaken at the headquarters of the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST), the $150m Sydney Nanoscience Hub.
"Nowadays, there are 10 billion mobile devices connected to the wireless network (reported by Cisco last year) and all require bandwidth and capacity," Mr Liu said.
"By creating very fast tunable delay lines on chip, one eventually can provide broader bandwidth instantaneously to more users.
"The ability of rapidly controlling RF signal is a crucial performance for applications in both our daily life and defence.
"For example, to reduce power consumption and maximize reception range for future mobile communications, RF signals need to achieve directional and fast distributions to different cellular users from information centres, instead of spreading signal energy in all directions."
The lack of the high tuning speed in current RF technique in modern communications and defence, has motivated the development of solutions on a compact optical platform.
These optical counterparts had been typically limited in performance by a low tuning speed on the order of milliseconds (1/1000 of a second) offered by on-chip heaters, with side effects of fabrication complexity and power consumption.
"To circumvent these problems, we developed a simple technique based on optical control with response time faster than one nanosecond: a billionth of a second -- this is a million times faster than thermal heating," said Mr Liu.
CUDOS Director and co-author Professor Benjamin Eggleton, who also heads the Nanoscale Photonics Circuits AINST flagship, said the technology would not only be important for building more efficient radars to detect enemy attacks but would also make significant improvements for everyone.
"Such a system will be crucial not only to safeguard our defence capabilities, it will also help foster the so-called wireless revolution -- where more and more devices are connected to the wireless network," Professor Eggleton said.
"This includes the internet of things, fifth generation (5G) communications, and smart home and smart cities.
"Silicon photonics, the technology that underpins this advance, is progressing very quickly, finding applications in datacentres right now.
"We expect the applications of this work will happen within a decade in order to provide a solution to the wireless bandwdith problem.
"We are currently working on the more advanced silicon devices that are highly integrated and can be used in small mobile devices," Professor Eggleton said.
By optically varying the control signal at gigahertz speeds, the time delay of the RF signal can be amplified and switched at the same speed.
Mr Liu and fellow researchers Dr Amol Choudhary, Dr David Marpaung and Professor Eggleton achieved this on an integrated photonic chip, paving the way towards ultrafast and reconfigurable on-chip RF systems with unmatched advantages in compactness, low power consumption, low fabrication complexity, flexibility and compatibility with existing RF functionalities.
The research builds on research supported by the Australian Research Council through CUDOS, a Centre of Excellence headquartered at the University of Sydney.
Find out more at http://www.
Vivienne Reiner | EurekAlert!
NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses