Twente scientists send warmth and light in photonic crystals




Researchers from the MESA + Institute of the University of Twente have succeeded in laying the heat distribution in photonic crystals curtailed. Photonic crystals are structures that guiding sending light and in a similar way as in a circuit on a chip.

The results of the study are published in Applied Physics Letters. The investigators were able to place the heat diffusion in the thin semiconductor membranes of tires by using in place of air a gas with a better thermal conductivity. This enabled the researchers to make sure there was a lot less unwanted ‘crosstalk’ between the different signals. Crosstalk is the electromagnetic interference between different signals or, as before, that the voice of another caller was also heard on a telephone that no connection was established.

The gas leaving the heat conducts the best, turns out to be helium. The crosstalk between adjacent circuits as reduced by almost a factor of two. The researchers think this way complex circuits of hundreds of elements in order to vote accurately.

A photonic crystal switches by means of light. The light is controlled by the crystal in the semiconductor thin membranes, similar to electronic circuits on computer chips. By focusing a laser beam on the material, it is heated locally, whereby a circuit is formed.

Applications are not there yet, but such materials may provide the basis for computers of the future, writes the University on its site. These include miniature lasers, LEDs, on-chip storage of information and in sensors.

photonic crystal membrane laser

Where photonic crystal laser hits: warmth spreading along membrane, but is also issued to gas



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