Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists invent new way to control light, critical for next gen of super fast computing

20.03.2015

A device resembling a plastic honeycomb yet infinitely smaller than a bee's stinger can steer light beams around tighter curves than ever before possible, while keeping the integrity and intensity of the beam intact.

The work, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) and at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and published in the journal Optics Express, introduces a more effective way to transmit data rapidly on electronic circuit boards by using light.


UCF's team works in the lab.

Credit: UCF

Sending information on light beams, instead of electrical signals, allows data to be transmitted thousands of times more quickly. But controlling the light beams without losing their energy has been the challenge. Microchip and computer manufacturers however, are increasingly looking to light as the best way to overcome speed bottlenecks associated with today's electronics.

"Computer chips and circuit boards have metal wire connections within them that transport data signals," said Raymond Rumpf, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UTEP. "One of challenges when using light is figuring out a way to make tight bends so we can replace the metal wiring more effectively."

That's where UCF comes in.

"Direct laser writing has the potential to become a flexible means for manufacturing next-generation computer devices," said Stephen Kuebler, associate professor of chemistry at UCF.

Kuebler and his students used direct laser writing, a kind of nanoscale 3D printing, to create the miniature lattices. The team then ran light beams through the lattices and confirmed that they could flow light without loss through turns that are twice as tight as any done previously.

The finding is significant because with the demand for ever-smaller and faster computers and hand-held devices, engineers need ways to pack ultra-fast data-transmission devices into smaller spaces.

Conventional light waveguides, like optical fibers, can be used to steer light through turns. But the turns must be gradual. If the turn is too quick, the light beams escape and energy is lost.

To make ultra-sharp turns, the team designed the plastic devices so that its lattice steers the beam around corners without losing energy.

The UTEP-UCF team's technology creates a new record in the field of optics for its ability to bend light beams. Kuebler said the team is now working to double that record, creating a lattice that will turn the light through an even tighter turn.

Rumpf, who runs UTEP's Electromagnetic Lab, envisions this groundbreaking technology will first appear in high-performance super computers before it can be found in people's everyday laptops.

###

Kuebler earned the Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Oxford. He joined UCF in 2003 through an appointment in Chemistry and CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics. His research has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and industry. In 2007 he received the NSF CAREER Award. His teaching has been recognized with Teaching Incentive Program awards (2008, 2014) and Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching awards (2008, 2015) from the UCF College of Sciences.

Media Contact

Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala
zenaida.kotala@ucf.edu
407-823-6120

http://www.ucf.edu 

Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | EurekAlert!

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity
23.06.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>