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Boffins create optical fibre junction

by on07 February 2012

Fibre has built in electrics

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University researchers have created optical fibre with a built-in integrated electronic component The development opens the way for more streamlined optical components. 

John Badding, a professor of chemistry who led the research said that embedding high-speed electrical devices in the fibre has never been done before Writing in the  Nature Photonics journal he said that he used a chemical procedure that involves depositing semiconducting materials layer by layer into tiny pores alongside a portion of the optical fibers, using a process called high-pressure chemical vapor deposition.

"There was a lot of chemistry that went into making this," Badding said. The researchers didn't build an entire chip in the optical line that can convert photons into electrical impulses, which then can be further processed elsewhere. The junctions themselves are five to 10 microns wide, a few centimeters long, and can ingest data from frequencies as high as 3GHz on standard single-mode optical fibres.

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