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Laser Grown Directly On Silicon Substrate

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 08:53AM

Satisfying the consumers desire for ever faster devices, manufacturers are starting to turn to new means of transporting data. One alternative is to use light to efficiently and quickly carry information throughout a device, but building a light source into a chip has proven difficult. However, researchers at Cardiff University have successfully grown a laser onto a silicon substrate, which is a step toward lasers on silicon-based chips.

Currently the communication within a computer is done by shuttling electrical currents along wires. While this works, its effectiveness is negatively impacted by the length of the wires and each wire can only carry so much information. Photonic systems that use light instead are far less affected by the distance they have to cover and support much higher bandwidths. By building an electrically-powered laser on a silicon substrate, we are significant step closer to realizing silicon photonics and the potential of ultra-fast communication systems within computers and between electronic systems. The laser the researchers created operates at a wavelength of 1300 nm, at temperatures up to 120 ºC, and can last for up to 100,000 hours.

Source: Cardiff University

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