Category Archives: photonics

Vertical cavity quantum switch could lead us away from electronics-based computing

From PhysOrg.com:

Right now, many researchers around the world are working on ways to move away from electronics-dominated computing systems. There are a number of ideas about how this can be accomplished. “We are trying to demonstrate an all-optical switch that, at the first stage, could be used in ultrafast optical communication systems,” Chaoyuan Jin tells PhysOrg.com. “It might also be useful for optical interconnection to replace present day electronic links which transfer tremendous data between computer chips, or perhaps useful for optical computing on-chip.”

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Millimeter-wave photonic wireless links for very high data rate communication

From NatureAsia.com:

In this paper, recent progress in millimeter-wave (MMW) photonic gigabit wireless communication is reviewed. This technique is attractive partly because the MMW signal can be easily distributed from central to base stations through the use of a low-loss optical fiber. This radio-over-fiber approach facilitates the transmission of MMW signals. An MMW photonic transmitter, comprised of high-power photodiodes with integrated antennas for MMW signal broadcasting, is needed for signal generation only over the last mile. The development of several different low-noise optical MMW sources and high-power photonic transmitters and photodiodes for optical MMW wireless links is summarized. The performance of photonic wireless links with extremely high data rates (>10 Gbit s–1) developed based on these key components and using different modulation schemes is also reviewed. Finally, some advanced commercially available products and the prospects of a future gigabit wireless communication era are discussed.

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Graphene optical modulators could lead to ultrafast communications

From PhysOrg.com:

The team of researchers, led by UC Berkeley engineering professor Xiang Zhang, built a tiny optical device that uses graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of crystallized carbon, to switch light on and off. This switching ability is the fundamental characteristic of a network modulator, which controls the speed at which data packets are transmitted. The faster the data pulses are sent out, the greater the volume of information that can be sent. Graphene-based modulators could soon allow consumers to stream full-length, high-definition, 3-D movies onto a smartphone in a matter of seconds, the researchers said.

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Proposal for optical transistor uses light to control light

From PhysOrg.com:

By using one light pulse to control another, researchers have proposed a design for an optical transistor that fulfills the most challenging criteria set forth in a study last year. An optical transistor has long been sought by physicists because it could be used for optical computing, in which photons rather than electrons are used to perform digital computations.

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Laser-guided matter waves

From PhysOrg.com:

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that atoms can be guided in a laser beam and possess the same properties as light guided in an optical communications fiber.

The researchers’ work has implications for future quantum devices that require smoothly-guided matter waves, such as atom interferometers which need to sensitively measure the earth’s gravitational field for geo-exploration. Their paper is published today in Nature Communications.

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Physicists rotate beams of light

From PhysOrg.com:

Controlling the rotation of light – this amazing feat was accomplished at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna), by means of a ultra thin semiconductor. This can be used to create a transistor that works with light instead of electrical current.

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GRIN plasmonics: A practical path to superfast computing, invisibility carpet-cloaking devices

From PhysOrg.com:

Berkeley Lab researchers have carried out the first experimental demonstration of GRIN plasmonics, a hybrid technology that opens the door to a wide range of exotic applications in optics, including superfast photonic computers, ultra-powerful optical microscopes and “invisibility” carpet-cloaking devices.

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