Yale scientists have found a way to greatly boost the intensity of light waves on a silicon microchip using the power of sound.
Writing in the journal Nature Photonics, a team led by Peter Rakich describes a new waveguide system that harnesses the ability to precisely control the interaction of light and sound waves. This work solves a long-standing problem of how to utilize this interaction in a robust manner on a silicon chip as the basis for powerful new signal-processing technologies.
Yale scientists have found a way to amplify the intensity of light waves on a silicon microchip.
Credit: Yale University
The prevalence of silicon chips in today's technology makes the new system particularly advantageous, the researchers note. "Silicon is the basis for practically all microchip technologies," said Rakich, who is an assistant professor of applied physics and physics at Yale. "The ability to combine both light and sound in silicon permits us to control and process information in new ways that weren't otherwise possible."
Rakich said combining the two capabilities "is like giving a UPS driver an amphibious vehicle -- you can find a much more efficient route for delivery when traveling by land or water."
These opportunities have motivated numerous groups around the world to explore such hybrid technologies on a silicon chip. However, progress was stifled because those devices weren't efficient enough for practical applications. The Yale group lifted this roadblock using new device designs that prevent light and sound from escaping the circuits.
"Figuring out how to shape this interaction without losing amplification was the real challenge," said Eric Kittlaus, a graduate student in Rakich's lab and the study's first author. "With precise control over the light-sound interaction, we will be able to create devices with immediate practical uses, including new types of lasers."
The researchers said there are commercial applications for the technology in a number of areas, including fiber-optic communications and signal processing. The system is part of a larger body of research the Rakich lab has conducted for the past five years, focused on designing new microchip technologies for light.
Heedeuk Shin, a former member of the Rakich lab who is now a professor at the Pohang University of Science and Technology in Korea, is the study's other co-author. "We're glad to help advance these new technologies, and are very excited to see what the future holds," Shin said.
The work was supported by the MesoDynamic Architectures program at the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Jim Shelton | EurekAlert!
What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Life Sciences