Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > MIT 'optics on a chip' may revolutionize telecom, computing--Research integrates photonic circuitry on a silicon chip

Abstract:
In work that could lead to completely new devices, systems and applications in computing and telecommunications, MIT researchers are bringing the long-sought goal of "optics on a chip"
one step closer to market.

MIT 'optics on a chip' may revolutionize telecom, computing--Research integrates photonic circuitry on a silicon chip

CAMBRIDGE, MA | Posted on February 5th, 2007

In the January 2007 inaugural issue of the journal Nature Photonics,
the team reports a novel way to integrate photonic circuitry on a
silicon chip. Adding the power and speed of light waves to
traditional electronics could achieve system performance
inconceivable by electronic means alone.

The MIT invention will enable such integrated devices to be
mass-manufactured for the first time. And, depending on the growth of
the telecom industry, the new devices could be in demand within five
years, said co-author Erich P. Ippen, the Elihu Thomson Professor of
Electrical Engineering and Physics.

The new technology will also enable supercomputers on a chip with
unique high-speed capabilities for signal processing, spectroscopy
and remote testing, among other fields.

"This breakthrough allows inter- and intra-chip communications
networks that solve the wiring problems of today's computer chips and
computer architectures," said Franz X. Kaertner, a professor of
electrical engineering and computer science.

In addition to Ippen and Kaertner, other members of the MIT team are
Tymon Barwicz (PhD 2005), Michael Watts (PhD 2005), graduate students
Milos Popovic and Peter Rakich, and Henry I. Smith, professor of
electrical engineering and co-director of MIT's Nanostructures
Laboratory.

Molding light waves

Microphotonics technology aims to "mold" the flow of light. By using
two different materials that refract light differently, such as
silicon and its oxides, photons can be trapped within a miniscule
hall of mirrors, giving them unique properties.

The stumbling block has been that microphotonics devices are
sensitive to the polarization of light.

Light waves moving through optical fibers can be arbitrarily
vertically or horizontally polarized, and microphotonic circuits
don't work well with that kind of random input. This has meant that
devices used in photonic subsystems and optical communication
networks, for instance, couldn't connect to the outside world without
often having to be assembled piecemeal and painstakingly by hand.

Like polarizing sunglasses, which use vertical polarizers to block
the horizontally oriented light reflected from flat surfaces such as
roads or water, the MIT method of integrating optics on a chip
involves separating the two orientations of polarized light waves.

Splitting the difference

The MIT researchers' innovative solution involves splitting the light
emanating from an optic fiber into two arms-one with horizontally
polarized beams and one with vertical beams-in an integrated, on-chip
fashion.

Setting these two at right angles to one another, the researchers
rotated the polarization of one of the arms, also in an integrated
way. The beams from the two arms, now oriented the same way, then
pass through identical sets of polarization-sensitive photonic
structures and out the other side of the chip, where the two split
beams are rejoined.

"These results represent a breakthrough in permitting the processing
and switching of arbitrarily polarized input light signals in tightly
confined and densely integrated photonic circuitry," said Ippen. The
innovation means that optical components can be integrated onto a
single silicon chip and mass-produced, cutting costs and boosting
performance and complexity.

The advantage in integrating optics with silicon technology is that
silicon fabrication technology "is already highly developed and
promises precise and reproducible processing of densely integrated
circuits," Kaertner said. "The prospect of integrating the photonic
circuitry directly on silicon electronic chips is ultimately also an
important driver."

In addition to offering a breakthrough in polarization, the MIT chip
also contains first-of-their-kind components in materials meeting
telecommunications specifications.

"Our results illustrate the importance of academic research in
nanofabrication and academia's role in breaking new pathways for the
industry to follow," Smith said. "Creating these devices was only
possible due to the unique nanofabrication facilities at MIT,
enabling fabrication with extraordinary precision."

This work was supported by Pirelli Labs in Milan, Italy, and made use
of MIT's Nanostructures Laboratory and MIT's Scanning Electron Beam
Lithography Facility, both within the Research Laboratory of
Electronics.

####

About MIT
Today MIT is a world-class educational institution. Teaching and research—with relevance to the practical world as a guiding principle—continue to be its primary purpose. MIT is independent, coeducational, and privately endowed. Its five schools and one college encompass numerous academic departments, divisions, and degree-granting programs, as well as interdisciplinary centers, laboratories, and programs whose work cuts across traditional departmental boundaries.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Elizabeth A. Thomson, MIT News Office
Phone: 617-258-5402
Email:

Copyright © MIT

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Chip Technology

New nanowire structure absorbs light efficiently: Dual-type nanowire arrays can be used in applications such as LEDs and solar cells February 25th, 2015

SUNY Poly CNSE Researchers and Corporate Partners to Present Forty Papers at Globally Recognized Lithography Conference: SUNY Poly CNSE Research Group Awarded Both ‘Best Research Paper’ and ‘Best Research Poster’ at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2015 forum February 25th, 2015

Ultra-thin nanowires can trap electron 'twisters' that disrupt superconductors February 24th, 2015

Silicon Catalyst Announces Partnership With imec to Support Semiconductor Start-Ups February 23rd, 2015

Optical computing/ Photonic computing

Novel solid-state nanomaterial platform enables terahertz photonics February 17th, 2015

Light in the Moebius strip: A Moebius strip created from laser light opens up new possibilities for material processing and for micro- and nanotechnology February 13th, 2015

New design tool for metamaterials: Berkeley Lab study shows how to predict metamaterial nonlinear optical properties February 10th, 2015

The power of light-matter coupling: A theoretical study shows that strong ties between light and organic matter at the nanoscale open the door to modifying these coupled systems' optical, electronic or chemical properties February 5th, 2015

Discoveries

Graphene Shows Promise In Eradication Of Stem Cancer Cells March 1st, 2015

Novel Method to Determine Optical Purity of Drug Components March 1st, 2015

First detailed microscopy evidence of bacteria at the lower size limit of life: Berkeley Lab research provides comprehensive description of ultra-small bacteria February 28th, 2015

Moving molecule writes letters: Caging of molecules allows investigation of equilibrium thermodynamics February 27th, 2015

Appointments/Promotions/New hires/Resignations/Deaths

KIT Increases Commitment in Asia: DAAD Funds Two New Projects: Strategic Partnerships with Chinese Universities and Communi-cation Technologies Network February 22nd, 2015

SouthWest Nanotechnologies CEO Dave Arthur Appointed to the Board of Affiliates of Rice University Professional Science Master’s Program February 13th, 2015

Nexeon Board Changes Announced January 29th, 2015

Rice's Naomi Halas to direct Smalley Institute: Optics pioneer will lead Rice's multidisciplinary science institute January 15th, 2015

Human Interest/Art

2015 Nanonics Image Contest January 29th, 2015

OCSiAl supports NanoART Imagery Contest January 23rd, 2015

EnvisioNano: An image contest hosted by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) January 22nd, 2015

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Announces AFM Image Contest Winners January 11th, 2015

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Leti to Offer Updates on Silicon Photonics Successes at OFC in LA February 27th, 2015

Rice's Stephan Link honored for nanoscience research: The Welch Foundation honors ‘rising star’ with $100,000 Hackerman Award February 26th, 2015

Maximum Precision in 3D Printing: New complete solution makes additive manufacturing standard for microfabrication February 26th, 2015

Learning by eye: Silicon micro-funnels increase the efficiency of solar cells February 25th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE