Excitons juice up light switches

  June 23/30, 2008
A more efficient generation of circuits that control telecommunications light signals could be on the way following the development of an excitonic integrated circuit. An exciton is an electron and a hole -- a positively charged gap where a negatively charged electron can reside -- in a briefly stable orbit around each other.

Photons enter the device and transform into excitons, which are then controlled in the same way that ordinary circuits direct the flow of electrons. Excitons are transformed back into photons at the device's output.

The more efficient optoelectronic devices promise faster communications networks.

Research paper:
Control of Exciton Fluxes in an Excitonic Integrated Circuit
Science, published online June 19, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Butov Group
Arthur C. Gossard

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Back to TRN June 23/30, 2008

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