In a milestone for nanotechnology
, scientists have built three-dimensional molecular structures on a surface for the first time ever. Previously, it had only been possible to create two-dimensional structures in this way. The research team from the University of Nottingham believe that the technique will boost the development of new optical, electronic and molecular computing technologies.
Researchers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) and the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have created a microresonator that produces vibrations from laser light. The device also uses one laser beam to control the intensity of another, thus making it essentially an optical transistor. The technology could have big implications in fields such as telecommunications.
It’s a sign of the times when the speed of electrons moving through wires is seen as pedestrian, but that’s increasingly the case as technology moves towards the new world of optical communication and computing. Optical communication systems that use the speed of light as the signal are still controlled and limited by electrical signaling at the end. But physicists have now discovered a way to use a gallium arsenide nanodevice as a signal processor at “terahertz” speeds that could help end the bottleneck.
Researchers at IBM have made important progress toward creating silicon circuits that communicate using pulses of light rather than electrical signals. This is thanks to a device called nanophotonic avalanche photodetector (NAP), which, as detailed on the journal Nature
, is the fastest of its kind and is a major step toward achieving energy-efficient computing that will have significant implications for the future of electronics.