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 A new path for electron optics in solid-state systems
15.07.2020 | ETH Zurich Department of Physics

nachricht Black phosphorus-based van der Waals heterostructures for mid-infrared light-emission applications
13.07.2020 | Light Publishing Center, Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics And Physics, Chinese Academy

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: A new path for electron optics in solid-state systems

A novel mechanism for electron optics in two-dimensional solid-state systems opens up a route to engineering quantum-optical phenomena in a variety of materials

Electrons can interfere in the same manner as water, acoustical or light waves do. When exploited in solid-state materials, such effects promise novel...

Im Focus: Electron cryo-microscopy: Using inexpensive technology to produce high-resolution images

Biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have used a standard electron cryo-microscope to achieve surprisingly good images that are on par with those taken by far more sophisticated equipment. They have succeeded in determining the structure of ferritin almost at the atomic level. Their results were published in the journal "PLOS ONE".

Electron cryo-microscopy has become increasingly important in recent years, especially in shedding light on protein structures. The developers of the new...

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Concrete learns to pre-stress itself

15.07.2020 | Architecture and Construction

New lithium battery charges faster, reduces risk of device explosions

15.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

A new path for electron optics in solid-state systems

15.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>