Close

Search

Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Buyers' Guide Photonics EDU Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Industrial Photonics Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
More News
share
Email Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Comments

  • Researchers Propose Lossless Nano-Optical Cables

Photonics.com
Aug 2014
EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada, Aug. 21, 2014 — New research proposes lossless nano-optical fibers small enough to replace copper wiring in computer chips.

“We’re already transmitting data from continent to continent using fiber optics, but the killer application is using this inside chips for interconnects — that is the Holy Grail,” said University of Alberta professor Dr. Zubin Jacob, whose team modeled the metamaterial fiber.

At present, fiber optic cables are limited to about a micron in diameter. The proposed fibers would be 10 times smaller, according to the researchers, and able to compress and contain light waves without creating heat, slowing the signal or losing data.

Integrating nanoscale electronics and conventional optics is restricted by the diffraction limit of light, the researchers said, adding that metals can confine light at the subwavelength scale but are susceptible to signal loss, while dielectrics do not confine evanescent waves, leading to cross-talk between components.

“What we’ve done is come up with a fundamentally new way of confining light to the nanoscale,” Jacob said.

The researchers propose fibers made with a silicon core and cladding integrating germanium nanowires and porous silica, which they said would control the optical momentum of evanescent waves, eliminating loss.

The researchers hope to use the new approach to develop a class of waveguides that outperforms the cross-talk performance of existing photonic structures by one order of magnitude.

The work was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative.

The research was published in Optica (doi: 10.1364/optica.1.000096). 

For more information, visit www.ualberta.ca.


GLOSSARY
metamaterial
A material engineered from artificial matter not found in nature. The artificial makeup and design of metamaterials give them intrinsic properties not common to conventional materials that are exploited as light waves and sound waves interact with them. One of the most active areas of research involving metamaterials currently explores materials with a negative refractive index. In optics, these negative refractive index materials show promise in the fabrication of lenses that can achieve...
Comments
Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy About Us Contact Us
back to top

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2016 Photonics Media
x We deliver – right to your inbox. Subscribe FREE to our newsletters.