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Graphene Believed to be Key Toward Low-Power Telecoms

According to the research result scheduled to be published in the August issue of Nature Photonics, the scientists were able to build the chip in a way that its system parameters such as transmittance and wavelength conversion can change with the input power level.

Additionally, they were able to create a radio frequency carrier on top of the transmitted laser beam and control its modulation with the laser intensity and color. As its ability to tune the radio frequency was explored, the researchers discovered that the hybrid chip enabled them to achieve "radio frequency generation with a resonant quality factor more than 50 times lower than what other scientists have achieved in silicon."

In a statement, professor of mechanical engineering Chee Wei-Wong said that the team of scientist was able to generate "new optical frequencies through nonlinear mixing of two electromagnetic fields at low operating energies, allowing reduced energy per information bit." He added: "This allows the hybrid silicon structure to serve as a platform for all-optical data processing with a compact footprint in dense photonic circuits."

As most other graphene research projects, this work is in its nascent stages and a commercial production is not in sight yet. However, the potential opportunity opened by graphene and new research results surfacing on an almost daily basis is stunning.

"We have been able to demonstrate and explain the strong nonlinear response from graphene, which is the key component in this new hybrid device," said Tingyi Gu, the study's lead author and a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering. "Showing the power-efficiency of this graphene-silicon hybrid photonic chip is an important step forward in building all-optical processing elements that are essential to faster, more efficient, modern telecommunications. And it was really exciting to explore the magic of graphene's amazingly conductive properties and see how graphene can boost optical nonlinearity, a property required for the digital on/off two-state switching and memory."

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  • Vorador2
    Graphene is shaping up to be the material of the future. There's nothing it can't do.
  • CaedenV
    Vorador2Graphene is shaping up to be the material of the future. There's nothing it can't do.It makes faster chips, lower power chips, can be used in hundreds of medical applications, bomb detectors, gas distilation, better solar cells, and can even fold laundry while doing the dishes. Personally, if they can just get it to do the last 2 I would be happy with it.

    Hardly a complete list, but:
  • southernshark
    OK I officially request no more Graphene stories. I am sick of hearing about graphene. We have been exposed to graphene stories for 15 years or more and to date we have not seen any real product that takes advantage of graphene. Lets just put it on the back burner until this mythical substance is actually used in a commercial product, if such a time ever actually takes place.
  • southernshark
    "As most other graphene research projects, this work is in its nascent stages and a commercial production is not in sight yet. "

    This is the only part of the story which is real.
  • A Bad Day
    Hmm, IBM is developing optical interconnects between chips, and plans on building optical interconnects within the chips...
  • nebun
    everyone keeps talking about this graphene material and how is supposed to be the miracle material...why don't we see products made out of this stuff?...move it people...people are again, i want to see how good it is before i die
  • ojas
    It'll come, eventually. Remember, we weren't seeing silicon based computers before a few million years of human evolution. Give graphene at least a hundred or two!
  • eddieroolz
    All the talk about graphene and no concrete product/action is worrying me that I'd ever see it.
  • dogman_1234
    Good news for a future research student such as me. I agree we need a first for this material to be on the open market, however, I d believe we should see another 10 years of research in electrical, chemical, mechanical, biological, and physical engineering before such thing becomes practical.

    As long as we continue to look at it, we will see the light of day with it...I hope.