New nanoscale light switch is a step toward light-based computers
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have reached a new milestone on the way to optical computing, or the use of light instead of electricity for computing. They explored a new way to select and send light of a specific color using long silicon wires that are several hundred nanometers in diameter (about 1,000 times smaller than a human hair) and their work enabled a new type of nanoscale “light switch” that can turn on and off the transmission of one color of light over very long distances.
The research paper, written by chemistry professor James Cahoon and graduate student Seokhyoung Kim at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with collaborators at Korea University, was published in the journal Nature Communications on July 17.
Optical computing technology promises many benefits. Swapping electrons for light-based technology would mean that the computers of the future won’t overheat and will run much faster.
“In the past there hasn’t been a controlled method for selectively sending light down nanoscale wires, so optical technology has either used much larger structures or wasted a lot of light in the process,” said James Cahoon, senior corresponding author and associate professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill. “We found a way to turn on and off the transmission of a specific color of light, and it represents an important step towards the more controlled, effective use of light that would enable optical computing.”
The research team developed the Encoded Nanowire Growth and Appearance through VLS and Etching (ENGRAVE) technique, which can create complex shapes in nanowires. They then achieved selective light transmission through precise diameter modulation with the ENGRAVE technique. This was the first report of direct use of a Mie resonance, a light scattering property of nanowires, for guiding light in a nanowire.
This work is a step forward for optical computing and will help enable further advances in the technology. The team’s findings can enable downsizing of the optical components needed to develop computers based on light instead of on electricity. By miniaturizing these components, they can be more easily integrated with the existing electronic components in computers. Additionally, the color of light conducted by the wires in this study is sensitive, with the color changing as the environment changes. Thus, these structures can be used as a new type of sensor, in which the color of the conducted light senses the environment of the wire.
The Latest on: Optical computing
via Google News
The Latest on: Optical computing
- Quantum dots can spit out clone-like photons on February 21, 2019 at 1:32 pm
In the global quest to develop practical computing and communications devices based on the ... between different indistinguishable single photons is the basis of many optical quantum information techn... […]
- IDT to Demonstrate its Latest Optical Communication Solutions at OFC 2019 on February 21, 2019 at 3:33 am
optical interconnect, wireless power and smart sensors are among the company's broad array of complete mixed-signal solutions for the communications, computing, consumer, automotive and industrial seg... […]
- ADVA Optical Networking SE: ADVA posts annual revenues of EUR 502 million for 2018 on February 20, 2019 at 10:05 pm
"The rapid development and rollout of artificial intelligence, edge computing solutions, IoT and 5G require a robust and scalable telecommunications infrastructure with greater optical transmission ca... […]
- OFC 2019: Optical innovations in data center networks on February 20, 2019 at 9:47 pm
As data center traffic grows exponentially from cloud computing and applications including Artificial ... co-location and cloud providers from around the globe. Optical innovations and optoelectronic ... […]
- Video: In-Memory Computing Using Photonic Memory Devices on February 20, 2019 at 9:24 am
Moving from an electrical to an optical domain has even more advantages. In photonic implementations of in-memory computing on an integrated photonic chip, not only do speed and bandwidths increase, d... […]
- Researchers use computer vision to better understand optical illusions on February 20, 2019 at 6:39 am
Optical illusions, images that deceive the human eye, are a fascinating research topic, as studying them can provide valuable insight into human cognition and perception. Researchers at Flinders Unive... […]
- AI and OCR: How optical character recognition is being revitalised on February 20, 2019 at 12:55 am
Optical character recognition tools are undergoing a quiet ... convert handwritten or printed text into machine-encoded text so that it can be accessed on a computer. OCR platforms make copies of docu... […]
- Optical Networking and Communication Market to Reach $40.3 Billion by 2024: P&S Intelligence on February 18, 2019 at 10:45 pm
This can be mainly attributed to the increasing use of optical fibers in various application areas, including research, medicine, machine testing, computer networking, and communication. Browse report ... […]
- Osram taps BMW digital exec as next CEO of its optical chip group on February 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm
With its future heading ever more into digitization of everything, and with its fortunes sagging in part because of trouble in the auto sector, Osram has tapped an executive steeped in both areas to b... […]
via Bing News