Photonic Device Emits Light Only In One Direction

A photonic device that emits light only in one way has been created. By meticulously modifying a set of etched silica bars’ shapes, they could make their device by changing a curious effect that had been predicted 90 years earlier. Numerous optoelectronic uses for the light source are possible.

Light will gladly travel in both directions through optical devices, which causes undesirable effects. It poses a significant challenge in designing photonic device circuits. Current approaches, such as incorporating a mirror to reflect light traveling in the incorrect direction, could be more manageable, effective, and challenging to construct. A photonic crystal that emits light only in one way has now been developed by scientists in China and the US by giving a 1929 effect a topological twist.

For many years, it was a mathematical puzzle to construct experimental systems that display “bound states in the continuum” (BICs). Researchers began to understand that the same physics extended beyond quantum mechanics and, more broadly, to systems of waves in the 1970s. Since then, BICs have been seen in graphene surface waves and light, sound, and water waves.

The most recent research has produced a clever method for creating a device that sends radiation only in one way. The team fabricated a regular grid of 200 nm-wide, 500 nm-deep silicon bars spaced 1 micron apart on a silica substrate.

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