Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Ultra-small and Ultra–fast Electro-optic Modulator

Due to the voltage applied, a beam of light (top left) is modulated by the digital bits (bottom right) of the converter (yellow). An electrical signal is converted into an optical signal.Graphics: A. Melikyan/KIT
Due to the voltage applied, a beam of light (top left) is modulated by the digital bits (bottom right) of the converter (yellow). An electrical signal is converted into an optical signal.

Graphics: A. Melikyan/KIT

Abstract:
Thanks to optical signals, mails and data can be transmitted rapidly around the globe. But also exchange of digital information between electronic chips may be accelerated and energy efficiency might be increased by using optical signals. However, this would require simple methods to switch from electrical to optical signals. In the Nature Photonics magazine, researchers now present a device of 29 µm in length, which converts signals at a rate of about 40 gigabits per second. It is the most compact high-speed phase modulator in the world. DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2014.9.

Ultra-small and Ultra–fast Electro-optic Modulator

Karlsruhe, Germany | Posted on February 17th, 2014

"Conversion of electrical into optical signals happens closer to the processor," Juerg Leuthold says. He coordinated the research project at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and has meanwhile moved to the ETH Zurich. "As a result, speed gains are achieved and conduction losses can be prevented. This might reduce energy consumption of the growing information technology."

The electro-optical converter consists of two parallel gold electrodes of about 29 µm in length, which is one third of the diameter of a human hair. The electrodes are separated by a gap of about one tenth of a micrometer in width. The voltage applied to the electrodes is synchronized with the digital data. The gap is filled with an electro-optical polymer, whose refraction index changes as a function of the applied voltage. "A continuous beam of light from the silicon waveguide excites electromagnetic surface waves, so-called surface plasmons (SP), in the gap," Argishti Melikyan, KIT, first author of the publication, explains. "As a result of the voltage applied to the polymer, the phase of the SP is modulated. At the end of the device, the modulated SP enter the exit silicon waveguide in the form of a modulated beam of light. In this way, the data bits are encoded in the phase of the light."

Their recent results revealed that the electro-optic modulator reliably converts data flows of about 40 gigabits per second. It uses the infrared light of 1480 - 1600 nanometers in wavelength usually encountered in the broadband glass fiber network. Even temperatures of up to 85°C do not cause any operation failures. The presented device is the most compact high-speed phase modulator in the world. It can be produced by well-established CMOS fabrication processes. Integration into current chip architectures is hence possible. "The device combines many advantages of other systems, such as a high modulation speed, compact design, and energy efficiency. In the future, plasmonic devices might be used for signal processing in the terahertz range," says Christian Koos, spokesperson of KIT's Helmholtz International Research School of Teratronics (HIRST), which focuses on merging photonic and electronic techniques for high-speed signal processing. "Hundreds of plasmonic modulators might fit on a chip and data rates in the range of terabits per second might be reached."

Presently, information and communication systems consume about 10 percent of the electricity in Germany. This includes computers and smartphones of individual users as well as servers at large computing centers. As data traffic grows exponentially, new approaches are required to increasing the capacity of such systems and reducing their energy consumption at the same time. Plasmonic components might be of decisive importance in this respect.

The present paper is part of the EU project NAVOLCHI, Nano Scale Disruptive Silicon-Plasmonic Platform for Chip-to-Chip Interconnection. This project is aimed at using the interaction of light and electrons in metal surfaces for the development of novel components for data transmission between chips. "Conventional electric chip-to-chip data transmission reaches its limits," says the present project coordinator Manfred Kohl, KIT. "NAVOLCHI is about to overcome those limits using optical technology." It is funded under the 7th Research Framework Programme of the EU and has a budget of EUR 3.4 million.

####

About Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a public corporation according to the legislation of the state of Baden-Württemberg. It fulfills the mission of a university and the mission of a national research center of the Helmholtz Association. Research activities focus on energy, the natural and built environment as well as on society and technology and cover the whole range extending from fundamental aspects to application. With about 9000 employees, including nearly 6000 staff members in the science and education sector, and 24000 students, KIT is one of the biggest research and education institutions in Europe. Work of KIT is based on the knowledge triangle of research, teaching, and innovation.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Monika Landgraf
Karlsruhe Institute for Technologie
+49 721 608-47414


For further information
please contact:
Kosta Schinarakis
PKM
Themenscout
Tel.: +49 721 608-41956
Fax: +49 721 608-43568

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

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 Links

For more information on the NAVOLCHI project, click:

Full bibliographic information

Related News Press

News and information

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase: Finalists Announced for MEMS Executive Congress US 2014 October 23rd, 2014

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Novel Rocket Design Flight Tested: New Rocket Propellant and Motor Design Offers High Performance and Safety October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative:Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the Laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges October 22nd, 2014

Bipolar Disorder Discovery at the Nano Level: Tiny structures found in brain synapses help scientists better understand disorder October 22nd, 2014

Chip Technology

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

Materials for the next generation of electronics and photovoltaics: MacArthur Fellow develops new uses for carbon nanotubes October 21st, 2014

Optical Computing

Nanoparticles Break the Symmetry of Light October 6th, 2014

Speed at its limits September 30th, 2014

'Pixel' engineered electronics have growth potential: Rice, Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt, Penn scientists lead creation of atom-scale semiconducting composites September 29th, 2014

Engineers show light can play seesaw at the nanoscale: Discovery is another step toward faster and more energy-efficient optical devices for computation and communication September 22nd, 2014

Discoveries

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Iranian, Malaysian Scientists Study Nanophotocatalysts for Water Purification October 23rd, 2014

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals

NYU Researchers Break Nano Barrier to Engineer the First Protein Microfiber October 23rd, 2014

Iranian Scientists Apply Nanotechnology to Produce Surgery Suture October 23rd, 2014

Iranian, Malaysian Scientists Study Nanophotocatalysts for Water Purification October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam October 20th, 2014

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways October 16th, 2014

New VDMA Association "Electronics, Micro and Nano Technologies" founded: Inaugural Meeting in Frankfurt/Main, Germany October 15th, 2014

Nanodevices for clinical diagnostic with potential for the international market: The development is based on optical principles and provides precision and allows saving vital time for the patient October 15th, 2014

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 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE