Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Toronto Research Holds Promise For Optical Chip

Date:
April 29, 2003
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
University of Toronto researchers have developed a hybrid plastic that can produce light at wavelengths used for fibre-optic communication, paving the way for an optical computer chip.

University of Toronto researchers have developed a hybrid plastic that can produce light at wavelengths used for fibre-optic communication, paving the way for an optical computer chip.

The material, developed by a joint team of engineers and chemists, is a plastic embedded with quantum dots - crystals just five billionths of a metre in size - that convert electrons into photons. The findings hold promise for directly linking high-speed computers with networks that transmit information using light - the largest capacity carrier of information available.

"While others have worked in quantum dots before," says investigator Ted Sargent, a professor in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, "we have shown how quantum dots can be tuned and incorporated into the right materials to address the whole set of communication wavelengths.

"Our study is the first to demonstrate experimentally that we can convert electrical current into light using a particularly promising class of nanocrystals," says Sargent, who holds the Nortel Networks-Canada Research Chair in Emerging Technologies. The study appears in the April 28 issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.

"Our research is based on nanotechnology: engineering based on the length of a nanometer - one billionth of a metre," he says. "We are building custom materials from the ground up." Working with colleagues in Professor Gregory Scholes' group from U of T's Department of Chemistry, the team created nanocrystals of lead sulphide using a cost-effective technique that allowed them to work at room pressure and at temperatures of less than 150 degrees Celsius. Traditionally, creating the crystals used in generating light for fibre-optic communications means working in a vacuum at temperatures approaching 600 to 800 degrees Celsius.

Despite the precise way in which quantum dot nanocrystals are created, the surfaces of the crystals are unstable, Scholes explains. To stabilize them, the team placed a special layer of molecules around the nanocrystals. These crystals were combined with a semiconducting polymer material to create a thin, smooth film of the hybrid polymer.

Sargent explains that when electrons cross the conductive polymer, they encounter what are essentially "canyons," with a quantum dot located at the bottom. Electrons must fall over the edge of the "canyon" and reach the bottom before producing light. The team tailored the stabilizing molecules so they would hold special electrical properties, ensuring a flow of electrons into the light-producing "canyons."

The colours of light the researchers generated, ranging from 1.3 microns to 1.6 microns in wavelength, spanned the full range of colours used to communicate information using light.

"Our work represents a step towards the integration of many fibre-optic communications devices on one chip," says Sargent. "We've shown that our hybrid plastic can convert electric current into light, with promising efficiency and with a defined path towards further improvement. With this light source combined with fast electronic transistors, light modulators, light guides and detectors, the optical chip is in view."

The research team included Ludmila Bakueva, Sergei Musikhin, Margaret Hines, Tung-Wah Frederick Chang and Marian Tzolov from the departments of chemistry and electrical and computer engineering. The research was supported by Nortel Networks, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Materials and Manufacturing Ontario, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Innovation Trust and the Canada Research Chairs Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "University Of Toronto Research Holds Promise For Optical Chip." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030429083704.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2003, April 29). University Of Toronto Research Holds Promise For Optical Chip. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030429083704.htm
University Of Toronto. "University Of Toronto Research Holds Promise For Optical Chip." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030429083704.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins