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Black Phosphorus has Great Potential for Optical Communication

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 03:51PM

Even since the discovery of graphene, many have been searching for other two dimensional materials and what special properties they may possess. In the case of black phosphorus though, it has been known about for over one hundred years, but only recently has its potential been explored. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered that it could be a new wonder material for optical communications and more.

The characteristic that perhaps most sets black phosphorus apart from graphene is its tunable band gap. While graphene lacks a band gap, making it a conductor, black phosphorus is actually a semiconductor, and the size of its band gap is dependent on its layer count. This opens up possibilities for use in computers and in optics, as the band gap influences how a material interacts with light. Because the band gap is tunable, so are the frequencies black phosphorus can absorb or emit. To test its real-world potential, the researchers built a photodetector using black phosphorus and succeeded at transmitting data at three billion (3,000,000,000) bits per second. As this is the first time such a photodetector has been built, you can expect that speed to increase.

The potential of black phosphorus extends beyond super-fast downloads because it is a direct-band semiconductor, which means it can efficiently emit light from electrical signals. This one material could potentially be used to both transmit and receive high speed optical signals between computers and within computer chips.

Source: University of Minnesota

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IVIYTH0S on March 06, 2015 01:06

Sweet, I hope more comes from this!

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