Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Communication technologies including smartphones and laptops could now be 1,000 times faster, new study suggests

Date:
March 7, 2012
Source:
University of Pittsburgh
Summary:
Many of the communication tools of today rely on the function of light or, more specifically, on applying information to a light wave. Thanks to research, a physical basis for terahertz bandwidth (THz, or 1 trillion cycles per second) -- the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between infrared and microwave light -- has now been demonstrated.

Credit: © lassedesignen / Fotolia

Many of the communication tools of today rely on the function of light or, more specifically, on applying information to a light wave. Up until now, studies on electronic and optical devices with materials that are the foundations of modern electronics -- such as radio, TV, and computers -- have generally relied on nonlinear optical effects, producing devices whose bandwidth has been limited to the gigahertz (GHz) frequency region. (Hertz stands for cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon, in this case 1billion cycles).

Thanks to research performed at the University of Pittsburgh, a physical basis for terahertz bandwidth (THz, or 1 trillion cycles per second) -- the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between infrared and microwave light -- has now been demonstrated.

In a paper published March 4 in Nature Photonics, Hrvoje Petek, a professor of physics and chemistry in Pitt's Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and his colleague Muneaki Hase, a professor of applied physics at the University of Tsukuba in Japan and a visiting scientist in Petek's lab, detail their success in generating a frequency comb -- dividing a single color of light into a series of evenly spaced spectral lines for a variety of uses -- that spans a more than 100 terahertz bandwidth by exciting a coherent collective of atomic motions in a semiconductor silicon crystal.

"The ability to modulate light with such a bandwidth could increase the amount of information carried by more than 1,000 times when compared to the volume carried with today's technologies," says Petek. "Needless to say, this has been a long-awaited discovery in the field."

To investigate the optical properties of a silicon crystal, Petek and his team investigated the change in reflectivity after excitation with an intense laser pulse. Following the excitation, the team observed that the amount of reflected light oscillates at 15.6 THz, the highest mechanical frequency of atoms within a silicon lattice. This oscillation caused additional change in the absorption and reflection of light, multiplying the fundamental oscillation frequency by up to seven times to generate the comb of frequencies extending beyond 100 THz. Petek and his team were able to observe the production of such a comb of frequencies from a crystalline solid for the first time.

"Although we expected to see the oscillation at 15.6 THz, we did not realize that its excitation could change the properties of silicon in such dramatic fashion," says Petek. "The discovery was both the result of developing unique instrumentation and incisive analysis by the team members."

Petek notes the team's achievements are the result of developing experimental and theoretical tools to better understand how electrons and atoms interact in solids under intense optical excitation and of the invested interest by Pitt's Dietrich School in advanced instrumentation and laboratory infrastructure.

The team is currently investigating the coherent oscillation of electrons, which could further extend the ability of harnessing light-matter interactions from the terahertz- to the petahertz-frequency range. Petahertz is a unit of measure for very fast frequencies (1 quadrillion hertz).

This research was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Muneaki Hase, Masayuki Katsuragawa, Anca Monia Constantinescu, Hrvoje Petek. Frequency comb generation at terahertz frequencies by coherent phonon excitation in silicon. Nature Photonics, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2012.35

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh. "Communication technologies including smartphones and laptops could now be 1,000 times faster, new study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120307162803.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh. (2012, March 7). Communication technologies including smartphones and laptops could now be 1,000 times faster, new study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120307162803.htm
University of Pittsburgh. "Communication technologies including smartphones and laptops could now be 1,000 times faster, new study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120307162803.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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