Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Researchers develop transistors that can switch between two stable energy states

University of Illinois engineer Milton Feng and his team have introduced an upgrade to transistor lasers that could boost computer processor speeds.

Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
University of Illinois engineer Milton Feng and his team have introduced an upgrade to transistor lasers that could boost computer processor speeds. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Abstract:
Engineers are unveiling an upgrade to the transistor laser that could be used to boost computer processor speeds – the formation of two stable energy states and the ability to switch between them quickly.

Researchers develop transistors that can switch between two stable energy states

Champaign, IL | Posted on May 9th, 2017

Modern computers are limited by a delay formed as electrons travel through the tiny wires and switches on a computer chip. To overcome this electronic backlog, engineers would like to develop a computer that transmits information using light, in addition to electricity, because light travels faster than electricity.

Having two stable energy states, or bistability, within a transistor allows the device to form an optical-electric switch. That switch will work as the primary building block for development of optical logic – the language needed for future optical computer processors to communicate, said Milton Feng, the Nick Holonyak Jr. Emeritus Chair in electrical and computer engineering and the team lead in a recent study.

“Building a transistor with electrical and optical bistability into a computer chip will significantly increase processing speeds,” Feng said, “because the devices can communicate without the interference that occurs when limited to electron-only transistors.”

In the latest study, the researchers describe how optical and electrical bistable outputs are constructed from a single transistor. The addition of an optical element creates a feedback loop using a process called electron tunneling that controls the transmission of light. The team published its results in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Feng said the obvious solution to solving the bottleneck formed by big data transfer – eliminating the electronic data transmission of the transistor and use all optics – is unlikely to happen.

“You cannot remove electronics entirely because you need to plug into a current and convert that into light,” Feng said. “That’s the problem with the all-optical computer concept some people talk about. It just is not possible because there is no such thing as an all-optical system.”

Feng and Holonyak, the Bardeen Emeritus Chair in electrical and computer engineering and physics, in 2004 discovered that light – previously considered to be a byproduct of transistor electronics – could be harnessed as an optical signal. This paved the way for the development of the transistor laser, which uses light and electrons to transmit a signal.

The new transistor could enable new devices and applications that have not been possible with traditional transistor technology.

“This is a single device that provides bistability for both electrical and optical functions with one switch,” Feng said. “It is totally new, and we are working hard to find more new applications for the device.”

Feng and his team have demonstrated electro-optical bistability at -50 degrees Celsius. The next step will be to prove that the device can work at room temperature. Feng said that they recently achieved this milestone, and the details will be published in an upcoming report.

“Any electronic device is virtually useless if it can’t operate at room temperature,” Feng said. “Nobody wants to carry a device in a refrigerator to keep it from getting too hot!”

The U. of I. department of electrical and computer engineering supported this research.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lois E Yoksoulian
Physical Sciences Editor
217-244-2788


Milton Feng
217-333-8080;

Copyright © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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

The paper “Electro-optical hysteresis and bistability in the ring-cavity tunneling-collector transistor laser” is available online:

Related News Press

News and information

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Possible Futures

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Chip Technology

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Surprise discovery in the search for energy efficient information storage August 10th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Demonstrates 2.5D High-Bandwidth Memory Solution for Data Center, Networking, and Cloud Applications: Solution leverages 2.5D packaging with low-latency, high-bandwidth memory PHY built on FX-14™ ASIC design system August 9th, 2017

Optical computing/Photonic computing

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials: All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques July 22nd, 2017

A firefly's flash inspires new nanolaser light July 18th, 2017

Discoveries

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Announcements

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

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

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Sensing technology takes a quantum leap with RIT photonics research: Office of Naval Research funds levitated optomechanics project August 10th, 2017

High resolution without particle accelerator: A first for physics -- University of Jena physicists are first to achieve optical coherence tomography with XUV radiation at laboratory scale August 7th, 2017

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