Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Semiconductor nano-lasers: Speed at its limits

29.09.2014

Physicists at the University of Jena together with colleagues from Imperial College London develop ultra-fast semiconductor nano-lasers

One thousand billion operations per second – this peak value is achieved by semiconductor nano-lasers developed by physicists at the University of Jena together with their colleagues from Imperial College London. As the researcher report in the current issue of the journal of „Nature Physics“, they are capable of producing the fastest lasers to date (DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS3103).


PhD student Robert Röder from the University of Jena achieved together with colleagues from Imperial College London the maximum possible speed at which a semiconductor laser can be operated.

Photo: Jan-Peter Kasper/FSU

The fastest, in this case means the speed at which the laser can be turned on and off and not the length of laser pulse, as Prof. Dr. Carsten Ronning from the University of Jena clarifies. “While the fastest lasers typically need several nanoseconds for one cycle our semiconductor nano-laser only needs less than a picosecond and is therefore a thousand times faster,“ the solid state physicist continues.

For their nano lasers the researchers use tiny wires made of zinc oxide. These wires have diameters of a few hundreds of nanometres – around a thousandth of the diameter of human hair - and are about a few micro meters long. Their properties make these nanowires an active laser medium and a resonator at the same time.

“Light is being reflected at the ends of the nanowire, similar to a mirror, and is then amplified while propagating through the nanowire,“ says Robert Röder. The PhD student in Prof. Ronning’s team is one of the authors on this current publication.

For the researchers the concept of using nanowires as a laser is not new. However, the new idea in this publication is the possibility to fundamentally modify the speed of these lasers. To this end the physicists combined the semiconductor with a metallic layer, leaving only a 10 nanometer thin gap layer between both in which the light field is constricted.

“This is how light-matter interactions are accelerated,“ says Robert Röder. This is not only “world record“ regarding the switching speed. “Most likely we also achieved the maximum possible speed, at which such a semiconductor laser can be operated“.

Applications for these ultrafast und nanometre small lasers are especially optical transistors and sensors. “Using such tiny sensors single molecules or microbes can be detected in medical diagnostics“, emphasizes Prof. Ronning.

Original-Publication:
Sidiropoulos TPH et al. Ultrafast plamonic nanowire lasers near the surface plasmon frequency, NATURE Physics 2014 (DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS3103)

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Carsten Ronning, Robert Röder
Institute for Solid State Physics
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Helmholtzweg 5, 07743 Jena
Germany
Phone: ++49 3641 / 947300, ++49 3641 / 947318
Email: carsten.ronning[at]uni-jena.de, robert.roeder[at]uni-jena.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.nano.uni-jena.de
http://www.uni-jena.de

Dr. Ute Schönfelder | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life
17.08.2017 | Goldschmidt Conference

nachricht Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors
17.08.2017 | American Institute of Physics

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

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>