Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Transistor laser functions as non-linear electronic switch, processor

08.02.2006


The transistor laser invented by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has now been found to possess fundamental non-linear characteristics that are new to a transistor and permit its use as a dual-input, dual-output, high-frequency signal processor.



"We have hit upon something surprisingly fundamental and rich in possibilities," said Nick Holonyak Jr., a John Bardeen Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at Illinois. "We have at once a new form of transistor and a new form of laser."

By modifying the base region with quantum wells and resonator configurations, Holonyak, electrical and computer engineering professor Milton Feng, and their colleagues have shifted the transistor operation from spontaneous emission to stimulated emission. The altered recombination process of the transistor changes the device characteristics, giving near laser threshold a fundamental and potentially useful non-linearity.


The scientists describe their work in the Feb. 6 issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.

"Transistors have never done this before," said Holonyak, who also is a professor in the university’s Center for Advanced Study, one of the highest forms of campus recognition. "Operating as a new form of transistor, the transistor laser offers new signal mixing and switching capabilities."

The transistor laser combines the functionality of both a transistor and a laser by converting electrical input signals into two output signals, one electrical and one optical.

"Using separate base inputs, we can apply two independent signals to the active region of the transistor laser," said Feng, the Holonyak Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Illinois.

"We can mix them, manipulate them, so that we get out an electrical signal which is some multiple of the first input plus some multiple of the second input," Feng said. "We also get out an optical signal, which is modulated by some multiple of the first input plus some multiple of the second input."

As proof of concept, the researchers demonstrated the operation of a transistor laser as a non-linear microwave mixing device and signal processor using a single emitter and a twin-contact base. Two signals, one at 2.0 gigahertz and one at 2.1 gigahertz, were mixed. Both electrical and optical output signals were obtained at mixing frequencies from 0.1 gigahertz to 8.4 gigahertz.

The data make it clear that stimulated recombination in a transistor, besides its implications for another form of laser with modulation speed potentially as high as that of a transistor, is the basis for a useful non-linear element, a different form of electronic switch and processor, the researchers said.

The transistor laser also raises the possibility of replacing wiring between components at the chip- or board-level with optical interconnects, thus offering more flexibility and capability in electronic-photonic integrated circuits.

"It’s too early to tell where all of this will go," Holonyak said. "We’re still studying the physics and device properties of the transistor laser. We’re a long way from the end."

James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: 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 >>>