Nano Lasers For Faster Micro Processors
Engineers have found a way to grow nano lasers — lasers able
to produce beams at nano scale — directly onto a silicon surface,
potentially opening the way to a new class of faster and more efficient
Increasing demands on electronics have sent researchers in
search of better ways to harness the inherent ability of light particles to
carry far more data than electrical signals can, the journal Nature
Optical interconnects are seen as a solution to overcoming
the communications bottleneck within and between computer chips, according
to a University of California statement.
Because silicon is extremely deficient at generating light,
engineers have turned to another class of materials known as III—V
semiconductors to create light-based components such as light-emitting
diodes (LEDs) and lasers.
But the researchers pointed out that marrying III—V with
silicon to create a single optoelectronic chip has been problematic.
For one, the atomic structures of the two materials are
“Growing III—V semiconductor films on silicon is like
forcing two incongruent puzzle pieces together,” said study author Roger
Chen, who is a University of California, Berkeley, graduate in electrical
engineering and computer sciences.
“It can be done, but the material gets damaged in the
The researchers overcame this limitation by finding a way to
grow nano pillars made of indium gallium arsenide, a III—V material, onto a
silicon surface at the relatively cool temperature of 400 degrees Celsius. —