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New organic material may speed Internet access
Date:3/15/2009

ates. By filling the slot, say Biaggio and his collaborators, the molecules add an ultra-fast all-optical switching capability to silicon circuitry, creating a new ability to perform the light-to-light interactions necessary for data processing in all-optical networks.

The nanophotonic device obtained in this way, says the group, has demonstrated the best all-optical demultiplexing rate yet recorded for a silicon-organic-hybrid device.

Multiplexing is the process by which multiple signals or data streams are combined and transmitted on a single channel, thus saving expensive bandwidth. Demultiplexing is the reverse process.

In tests, the novel hybrid device was able to extract every fourth bit of a 170-gigabit-per-second telecommunications data stream and to demultiplex the stream to 42.7 gigabits per second.

Biaggio's group is part of an international collaboration that includes scientists from the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany, the Photonics Research Group at Ghent University in Belgium, and the Laboratory for Organic Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Biaggio is affiliated with Lehigh's Center for Optical Technologies (COT). Another group member, Bweh Esembeson, earned a Ph.D. in physics from Lehigh earlier this year and is now an applications engineer with Thorlabs Inc. in New Jersey.

The silicon-organic-hybrid device and its breakthrough properties were presented for the first time as a postdeadline contribution at a meeting of the optical telecom industry last spring and at several other scientific conferences, and Biaggio's group published an article titled "A High-optical Quality Supramolecular Assembly for Third-order Integrated Nonlinear Optics" in the October 2008 issue of Advanced Materials.

A nonlinear optical answer to bandwidth demand

As Internet users demand greater bandwidth for ever faster co
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Contact: Kurt Pfitzer
kap4@lehigh.edu
610-758-3017
Lehigh University
Source:Eurekalert

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