Nanophotonics Moves Ahead
Researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., have constructed a nanoscale photonic resonator that is more than 100 times smaller than the cross section of a human hair. In combination with an equally minuscule semiconductor laser, the components for a nanoscale integrated circuit are more than 1000 times smaller than those currently in use. In addition, the researchers claim the circuits would be cheaper to fabricate and more efficient. The resonator's development resulted from the discovery that emissions of photons from atoms could be modified by using nanoscale structures to channel photons into tiny waveguides. The waveguides measured in the ten-thousandths of a millimeter compared with waveguides in current photonic devices, which measure a few hundredths of a millimeter wide.
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