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New optical device for faster PCs


New optical device for faster PCs

WASHINGTON: Scientists have developed a new "groundbreaking" optical device that may lead to more powerful computers that run faster and are cooler. The optical device could enhance optical information processing in computers. In an optical diode, the light input in one direction is transmitted while the light input in the opposite direction is blocked. 

The new optical diode, designed by Lan Yang and her collaborators from Washington University in St Louis, is made from parity-time (PT) symmetric micro-resonators in which loss of one of the resonators is balanced by the gain in the other. Breaking the PT-symmetry, by tuning the coupling strength between the resonators, leads to strong field localisation and hence enables nonlinearity-based one-way transmission for light. Yang's group created the optical diode by coupling tiny doughnut shaped optical resonators — one with gain and the other with loss — on a silicon chip. 
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