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Nanowaveguides Brought Closer Together for Future Photonic Chips

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 07:00AM
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Some day we will have to leave many electronics behind us and go to a new technology, possibly photonics. There are still many hurdles to overcome before that can happen, and among them is the packing photonic waveguides close together. Researchers at Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley have achieved that by applying adiabatic elimination.

If you place two nanowaveguides too close together, crosstalk between them will destroy any useful information. This is a significant problem if we want to achieve chip-scale quantum computing with photons and high-performance optical communications. The solution the Berkeley researchers have is to actually add an additional waveguide to the mix, between to two that would normally interfere with each other. This third, middle waveguide mediates the light passing between the two outer guides, preventing crosstalk, but does so without collecting any light within it, causing it to be effectively dark. This allowed the waveguides to be placed just 200 nm apart from each other, which is well within the destructive crosstalk proximity.

The control of light this discovery allows will enable the nanowaveguides, which are similar to the circuitry in current electronics, will allow for much denser designs, which in turn allows for more advanced and powerful devices. It may still be a long time before we see the devices that will take advantage of this research, but what comes of it should be very interesting to see.

Source: Berkeley Lab



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