Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The world's fastest nanoscale photonics switch

28.10.2015

Russian scientists developed the world's fastest nanoscale photonics switch

International team of researchers from Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Australian National University in Canberra created an ultrafast all-optical switch on silicon nanostructures.


"Device" is a disc 250 nm in diameter that is capable of switching optical pulses at femtosecond rates (femtosecond is a one millionth of one billionth of a second).

Credit: Maxim Scherbakov et al

This device may become a platform for future computers and permit to transfer data at an ultrahigh speed. The article with the description of the device was published in Nano Letters journal and highlighted in Nature Materials.

This work belongs to the field of photonics - an optics discipline which appeared in the 1960-s, simultaneously with the invention of lasers. Photonics has the same goals as electronics does, but uses photons--the quanta of light--instead of electrons. The biggest advantage of using photons is the absence of interactions between them.

As a consequence, photons address the data transmission problem better than electrons. This property can primarily be used for in computing where IPS (instructions per second) is the main attribute to be maximized. The typical scale of eletronic transistors--the basis of contemporary electronic devices--is less than 100 nanometers, wheres the typical scale of photonic transistors stays on the scale of several micrometers.

Nanostructures that are able to compete with the electronic structures--for example, plasmonic nanoparticles--are characterized by low efficiency and significant losses. Therefore, coming up with a compact photonic switch was a very challenging task.

Three years ago several groups of researchers simultaneously discovered an important effect: they found out that silicon nanoparticles are exhibit strong resonances in the visible spectrum - the so-called magnetic dipole resonances.

This type of resonance is characterized by strong localization of light waves on subwavelength scales, inside the nanoparticles. This effect turned out to be interesting to researches, but, according to Maxim Shcherbakov, the first author of the article published in Nano Letters, nobody thought that this discovery could create a basis for development of a compact and very rapid photonic switch.

Nanoparticles were fabricated in the Australian National University by e-beam lithography followed by plasma-phase etching. It was done by Alexander Shorokhov, who served an internship in the University as a part of Presidential scholarship for studying abroad. The samples were brought to Moscow, and all the experimental work was carried out at the Faculty of Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University, in the Laboratory of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials.

"In our experimental research me and my colleague Polina Vabishchevich from the Faculty used a set of nonlinear optics methods that address femtosecond light-matter, -- explains Maxim Shcherbakov. -- We used our femtosecond laser complex acquired as part of the MSU development program".

Eventually, researches developed a "device": a disc 250 nm in diameter that is capable of switching optical pulses at femtosecond rates (femtosecond is a one millionth of one billionth of a second). Switching speeds that fast will allow to create data transmission and processing devices that will work at tens and hundreds terabits per second. This can make possible downloading thousands of HD-movies in less than a second.

The operation of the all-optical switch created by MSU researchers is based on the interaction between two femtosecond pulses. The interaction becomes possible due to the magnetic resonance of the silicon nanostructures. If the pulses arrive at the nanostructure simultaneously, one of them interacts with the other and dampers it due to the effect of two-photon absorption. If there is a 100-fs delay between the two pulses, the interaction does not occur, and the second pulse goes through the nanostructure without changing.

"We were able to develop a structure with the undesirable free-carrier effects are suppressed, -- says Maxim Shcherbakov. -- Free carriers (electrons and electron holes) place serious restrictions on the speed of signal conversion in the traditional integrated photonics. Our work represents an important step towards novel and efficient active photonic devices-- transistors, logic units, and others. Features of the technology implemented in our work will allow its use in silicon photonics. In the nearest future, we are going to test such nanoparticles in integrated circuits".

Media Contact

Vladimir Koryagin
science-release@rector.msu.ru

http://www.msu.ru 

Vladimir Koryagin | EurekAlert!

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

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

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>