Cornell University researchers have demonstrated for the first time a device that allows one low-powered beam of light to switch another on and off on silicon, a key component for future "photonic" microchips in which light replaces electrons.
Photonics on silicon has been suggested since the 1970s, and previous light-beam switching devices on silicon have been demonstrated, but they were excessively large (by microchip standards) or have required that the beam of light that does the switching be very high-powered. The approach developed by Michal Lipson, Cornell assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, confines the beam to be switched in a circular resonator, greatly reducing the space required and allowing a very small change in refractive index to shift the material from transparent to opaque.
The advancement of nanoscale fabrication techniques in just the past few years has made it possible to overcome some of the traditional limitations of silicon photonics, Lipson said. Photonic circuits will find their first application in routing devices for fiber-optic communications, she suggests. At present, information that travels at the speed of light through optical fiber must be converted at the end into electrical signals that are processed on conventional electronic chips, then in many cases converted back into optical signals for retransmission, an extremely slow process. The all-optical switch makes it possible to route these signals without conversion.
Bill Steele | EurekAlert!
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Attoseconds break into atomic interior
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
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...
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...
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23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy