Dec 20, 2020

Meshing Optics With Electronics: Physics Discovery Leads to Ballistic Optical Materials

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, particle physics

Electronics are increasingly being paired with optical systems, such as when accessing the internet on an electronically run computer through fiber optic cables.

But meshing optics — which relies on particles of light called photons—with electronics—relying on electrons — is challenging, due to their disparate scales. Electrons work at a much smaller scale than light does. The mismatch between electronic systems and optical systems means that every time a signal converts from one to the other, inefficiency creeps into the system.

Now, a team led by a Purdue University scientist has found a way to create more efficient metamaterials using semiconductors and a novel aspect of physics that amplifies the activity of electrons. The study is published in the journal Optica.

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