Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Nano-lamp’ discovered by coincidence

21.02.2003


On a semiconductor chip, one essential element is missing: a lightsource. An integrated lightsource can be very useful, however. In optical telecommunications, for example, or in lab-on-a-chip applications. University of Twente’s Phuong Le Minh developed a nanoscale integrated lightsourse. The principle of this tiny light source was discoverd by coincidence, performing semiconductor breakdown experiments. Le Minh succeeded in fabricating a micro channel



The nano-lightsource is formed by ‘controlled breakdown’ of the isolating oxide layer in a semiconductor device. At this moment, a tiny cell is formed working as a memory cell and as a light source as well, called an antifuse. The research group Semiconductor Components, of which Le Minh is a member, takes a lot of effort in investigating transistor reliability. In their experiments, the new ‘devices’ emitted light. What started as a surprising side-effect, could be transformed into a working nano-lamp. Le Minh has focused on applications in ‘microfluidics’: he has integrated the lightsource and a photodetector with a micron-size fluid channel and is able to distinguish various fluids going through. It is a very useful new part of a laboratory on a chip.

Apart from these lab-on-a-chip applications, research in optical telecommunications is focused on an ‘all-optical’ signal path, thus avoiding conversion losses, from optical to electronic vice versa. An integrated lightsource is very welcome there, as a new component. Silicon has excellent properties for a broad range of applications, but it is a very bad photon emitter: it is hard to fabricate an efficient light source in silicon. Coupling an external lightsource to a chip is a true piece of art as well: the system gets more voluminous than wanted, and coupling losses may appear. There is a worldwide quest for ‘solid state lighting’.


The lightsource is placed above the microchannel in a chip, with a photo detector on the bottomside of it. Detecting interference patterns, information can be retrieved about the fluid going through the channel. According to Le Minh, it is a step forward in the development of nano-lamps for various applications. He has performed his PhD research within the MESA+ research institute of the University of Twente, www.mesaplus.utwente.nl

Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.utwente.nl/nieuws/pers/cont_03-004.doc/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms
20.02.2018 | Institute for Basic Science

nachricht Observing and controlling ultrafast processes with attosecond resolution
20.02.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>