Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Plasmonics: Model makes light work of nanocircuits

14.03.2013
A numerical simulation predicts the behavior of a component that controls light for faster computing
As computer manufacturers cram ever more processing power onto tiny chips, they face a growing problem. The connections between electronic components that measure just a few billionths of a meter across allow electrons to leak, which reduces the quality of the signal they carry, wastes energy and causes devices to overheat.

One promising solution is to replace those electrons with photons of light. Hong-Son Chu and Er-Ping Li of the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore and co-workers have now developed a numerical model to simulate the performance of circuits that rely on light, which could be an invaluable tool for designers in the burgeoning field of nanophotonics.

Devices that manipulate photons of light are typically many times larger than conventional circuit components, and this limits their use. In contrast, “plasmonic technology promises to overcome the size mismatch between microscale photonics and nanoscale electronics,” says Li.

When light hits the interface between a metal and a dielectric insulator, it creates ripples in the density of the electric charge. These ripples, known as plasmons, are bound to the electromagnetic field of the incoming light, and travel along the interface. The plasmons have a shorter wavelength than the light, so the components that guide and manipulate them can be smaller than those used to control light directly. “This emergent technology is a potential platform for the next generation of optical interconnects that enables the deployment of small-footprint and low-energy integrated circuitry,” says Chu.

Microelectronics researchers have previously relied on time-consuming and expensive computer simulations to fine-tune the designs of their plasmonic nanocircuits. Li’s team has developed a much simpler model that includes a library of different plasmonic components such as waveguides, modulators and photodetectors, and can integrate their properties to predict how the whole system will behave.

Li and his co-workers used their model to quickly design and improve a compact Mach–Zehnder plasmonic modulator, a commonly used component that enables an electrical signal to control a beam of light. The device relies on an electro-optic material whose refractive index changes when a voltage is applied.

The simulation showed how the size and shape of the device could be optimized to lower its operating voltage, as well as increasing the difference between its two switching states to reduce signal noise.

The researchers now plan to improve their design software so that it includes many more properties of nanocircuits, “including mechanical, thermal, optical and electrical characteristics,” says Chu.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of High Performance Computing

Journal information

Chu, H.-S., Kurniawan, O., Zhang, W.-Z., Li, D. & Li, E.-P. Integrated system-level electronic design automation (EDA) for designing plasmonic nanocircuits. IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology 11, 731–738 (2012).

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Who can find the fish that makes the best sound?
28.02.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

nachricht Many Android password managers unsafe
28.02.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie SIT

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Light-emitting bubbles captured in the wild

28.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Triboelectric nanogenerators boost mass spectrometry performance

28.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Calculating recharge of groundwater more precisely

28.02.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>