Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Single-crystal Semiconductor Wire Built Into An Optical Fiber

Date:
March 17, 2008
Source:
Penn State University
Summary:
A process has been developed for growing a single-crystal semiconductor inside the tunnel of a hollow optical fiber. The new device will add new electronic capabilities to optical fibers, which are ideal media for transmitting many types of signals and which are used in a wide range of technologies that employ light, including telecommunications, medicine, computing, and remote-sensing devices.

Single-crystal semiconductor wires integrated into microstructured optical wires.
Credit: Image courtesy of Penn State

An international science team from Penn State University in the United States and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom has developed a process for growing a single-crystal semiconductor inside the tunnel of a hollow optical fiber. The device adds new electronic capabilities to optical fibers, whose performance in electronic devices such as computers typically is degraded by the interface between the fiber and the device. The research is important because optical fibers -- which are used in a wide range of technologies that employ light, including telecommunications, medicine, computing, and remote-sensing devices -- are ideal media for transmitting many types of signals.

The development of the single-crystal device, which will be described in a paper to be published later this month in the journal Advanced Materials, builds on research reported in 2006, in which the team first combined optical fibers with polycrystalline and amorphous semiconductor materials in order to create an optical fiber that also has electronic characteristics. The group's latest finding -- that a single-crystal semiconductor also can be integrated into an optical fiber -- is expected to lead to even further improvements in the characteristics of optical fibers used in many areas of science and technology.

"For most applications, single-crystal semiconductor materials have better performance than polycrystalline and amorphous materials," said John Badding, associate professor of chemistry at Penn State. "We have now shown that our technique of encasing a single-crystal semiconductor within an optical fiber results in greater functionality of the optical fiber, as well."

The team used a high-pressure fluid-liquid-solid approach to build the crystal inside the fiber. First, the scientists deposited a tiny plug of gold inside the fiber by exposing a gold compound to laser light. Next, they introduced silane, a compound of silicon and hydrogen, in a stream of high-pressure helium. When the fiber was heated, the gold acted as a catalyst, decomposing the silane and thus allowing silicon to deposit as a single crystal behind the moving gold catalyst particle, forming a single-crystal wire inside the fiber.

"The key to joining two technologies lies not only in the materials, but also in how the functions are built in," said Pier Sazio, senior research fellow in the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton. "We were able to embed a nanostructured crystal into the hollow tube of an optical fiber to create a completely new type of composite device."

The research team sees potential to carry the application to the next level. "At present, we still have electrical switches at both ends of the optical fiber," said Badding. "If we can get to the point where the electrical signal never leaves the fiber, it will be faster and more efficient."

The research received financial support from the U. S. National Science Foundation, the Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science, and the Penn State-Lehigh Center for Optical Technologies.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Penn State University. "Single-crystal Semiconductor Wire Built Into An Optical Fiber." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080312115412.htm>.
Penn State University. (2008, March 17). Single-crystal Semiconductor Wire Built Into An Optical Fiber. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080312115412.htm
Penn State University. "Single-crystal Semiconductor Wire Built Into An Optical Fiber." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080312115412.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) 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