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Stanford engineers use nanophotonics to reshape on-chip computer data transmission
Date:11/15/2011

otonic crystal an array of tiny holes etched in a semiconductor. The photonic crystal serves as a mirror that bounces the light toward the center of the device, confining it inside the LED and forcing it to resonate at a single frequency.

"In other words, the light becomes single-mode," said Shambat.

"Without these nanophotonic ingredients the 'quantum dots' and the photonic crystal it is impossible to make an LED efficient, single-mode and fast all at the same time," said Vuckovic.

Engineering Ingenuity

The new device includes a bit of engineering ingenuity, too. Existing devices are actually two devices, a laser coupled with an external modulator. Both devices require electricity. Vuckovic's diode combines light emission and modulation functions into one device that drastically reduces energy consumption.

On average, the new LED device transmits data at 0.25 femto-Joules per bit of data. By comparison, today's typical 'low' power laser device requires about 500 femto-Joules to transmit a single bit. Some technologies consume as much as one pico-Joule per bit.

"Our device is 2000 to 4000 times more energy efficient than best devices in use today" said Vuckovic.

Stanford Professor James Harris, former PhD student Bryan Ellis, and doctoral candidates Arka Majumdar, Jan Petykiewicz and Tomas Sarmiento also contributed to this research.


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Contact: Andrew Myers
admyers@stanford.edu
650-736-2241
Stanford School of Engineering
Source:Eurekalert  

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