Researchers turn off backscattering, aim to improve optical data transmission

Engineers at the University of Illinois have found a way to redirect misfit light waves to reduce energy loss during optical data transmission. In a study, researchers exploited an interaction between light and sound waves to suppress the scattering of light from material defects—which could lead to improved fiber optic communication. Their findings are published in the journal Optica. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2′); }); Light waves scatter when they encounter obstacles, be it a crack in a window or a tiny flaw in a fiber optic cable. Much of that light scatters out of the system, but some of it scatters back toward the source in a phenomenon called backscattering, the researchers said. “There is no such thing as a perfect material,” said mechanical science and engineering professor Gaurav Bahl, who led the study. “There is always a little bit of imperfection and a little bit of randomness in the materials that we use in any engineered technology. For instance, the most perfect optical fiber used for long-range data transmission might still have some invisible flaws. These flaws can be a result of man...

UK researchers have developed world-leading Compound Semiconductor (CS) technology that can drive future high-speed data communications.

UK researchers have developed world-leading Compound Semiconductor (CS) technology that can drive future high-speed data communications. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2′); }); A team from Cardiff University’s Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) worked with collaborators to innovate an ultrafast and highly sensitive ‘avalanche photodiode’ (APD) that creates less electronic ‘noise’ than its silicon rivals. APDs are highly sensitive semiconductor devices that exploit the ‘photoelectric effect’ – when light hits a material—to convert light to electricity. Faster, supersensitive APDs are in demand worldwide for use in high-speed data communications and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems for autonomous vehicles. A paper outlining the breakthrough in creating extremely low excess noise and high sensitivity APDs is published today in Nature Photonics. Cardiff researchers led by Ser Cymru Professor Diana Huffaker, Scientific Director of ICS and Ser Cymru Chair in Advanced Engineering and Materials, partnered with the University of Sheffield and the California NanoSy...