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Silicon Brillouin Laser Uses Soundwaves To Amplify Light

Scientists at Yale University, New Haven, Ct, US, have created what they are calling “a new type of silicon laser”, which uses sound waves to amplify light. The work, which has implications for photonics integrated circuits, in particular, has been reported in Science.

“We have seen an explosion of growth in silicon photonic technologies over the past few years,” said Peter Rakich, an associate professor of applied physics at Yale who led the research.

“Not only are we beginning to see these technologies enter commercial products that help our datacenters run flawlessly, we also are discovering new photonic devices and technologies that could be transformative for everything from biosensing to quantum information on a chip.”

The researchers say this sector’s rapid growth has created a pressing need for new silicon lasers to drive the new circuits – a problem that has been historically difficult due to silicon’s indirect bandgap.

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