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 Heating quantum matter: A novel view on topology
22.08.2017 | Université libre de Bruxelles

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>