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The Technical Core And Future Prospects Of Yale University's New Silicon Laser
Jul 09, 2018

A few days ago, Yale University scientists created a new type of silicon laser that uses sound waves to amplify light.

Peter Rakich, an associate professor of applied physics at Yale University, led the study. "In the past few years, we have seen explosive growth in silicon photonics. We are beginning to see these technologies enter consumer products and make our data centers run. Faster. We also discover new photonic devices and technologies that are expected to revolutionize in areas such as biosensing and on-chip quantum information."

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Technical core

Light is amplified in the runway-shaped laser design fence to capture light in a circular motion. Runway design is a key part of innovation. In this way, we can put the light to the maximum and provide the maximum feedback for the lasing. In order to use sound waves to amplify light, silicon lasers have a special structure. Essentially, the special structure is a nano-scale waveguide designed to strictly limit light and sound waves and maximize the interaction between light and sound waves. This waveguide is unique in that there are two different optical transmission channels. This allows us to influence photoacoustic coupling with a fairly reliable and flexible laser design.

There are two main challenges in developing new lasers: first, designing and fabricating devices in which amplification exceeds losses, and second pointing to the counter-intuitive dynamics of the system. Although the system is an optical laser, it also produces very consistent supersonic waves.

Progressive significance

Researchers say that if this structure is not used, optical amplification using sonic waves will not be possible in silicon. “The photo-acoustic interactions we have used have not previously existed in these optical circuits, and we have turned them into the most powerful amplification mechanism in silicon. Now we can use it for several new types of laser technology. None of these technologies existed 10 years ago."