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September 1st, 2004

A Guiding Light on the Nanoscale

Another important step towards realizing the promise of lightning fast photonic technology has been taken by scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley. Researchers have demonstrated that semiconductor nanoribbons, single crystals measuring tens of hundreds of microns in length, but only a few hundred or less nanometers in width and thickness, can serve as "waveguides" for channeling and directing the movement of light through circuitry.

"Not only have we shown that semiconductor nanoribbons can be used as low-loss and highly flexible optical waveguides, we've also shown that they have the potential to be integrated within other active optical components to make photonic circuits," says Peidong Yang, a chemist with Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division and a professor with UC Berkeley's Chemistry Department, who led this research.


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