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 Scientific achievements during the operation of Lomonosov satellite
18.12.2017 | Lomonosov Moscow State University

nachricht Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity based on laser-cooled atoms
18.12.2017 | Faculty of Physics University of Warsaw

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: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

The body's street sweepers

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Fast flowing heat in layered material heterostructures

18.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>