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Texas Physicists Create World’s Smallest Semiconductor Laser

In Science Magazine, a breakthrough in semiconductor technology was recently announced. The magazine reported that physicists in Texas successfully created the world’s smallest semiconductor laser, a feat which has eluded physicists for decades.

The team of physicists at The University of Texas at Austin made this tiny laser, which although it emits a green light when it fires, is so tiny it is not visible to the naked eye. The team made the device from gallium nitride nanorod, with indium gallium nitride as a partial filler.

“We have developed a nanolaser device that operates well below the 3-D diffraction limit,” said Chih-Kang “Ken” Shih, who is a professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin. “We believe our research could have a large impact on nanoscale technologies.”

One of the important facets of the project for the team to achieve was “atomic smoothness.” This enables the device to avoid scattering or even losing plasmons as it transfers data. As Shih notes, “Atomically smooth plasmonic structures are highly desirable building blocks for applications with low loss of data.”

This new advance has the potential to revolutionize the world of semiconductors and may help break current threshold levels. Eventually, it is hoped that its tiny size will lead to the creation of “on-chip” communication systems, which will be faster and more reliable than current systems.

“Size mismatches between electronics and photonics have been a huge barrier to realize on-chip optical communications and computing systems,” said Shangjr Gwo, a professor at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.”

This new advance will also help in the job creation market as more companies embrace this nano technology and push to be on the forefront of development of new devices that incorporate this design.

Do you have a question on how engineering advances will impact this field? Let the experts at Solopoint guide you!