The research team at the Cambridge University worked very hard in collaboration with their colleagues in Greece and Mexico to make a low energy, new type of light switch that would work for more powerful smaller level electronics. The includes interaction of liquid form of light and electricity in a number of semiconductor microchips. This device can form the basis for lot for a completely new domain that would deal with future signal processing as well as information technologies. It is new step that will reduce the gap between two largest segments called electronics and light.
The basic manner in which the present day technologies processes and transmits information is flawed to some extent. In order to process the data,electrical charges keep moving over the semiconductor chip and for transmission of the same flashes of light are sent to optical fibers. All present day methods fiddle between optical and electrical signals making the complete process slow and inefficient. If the process has to be made powerful and faster, a larger number of semiconductors need to be squeezed n th chip. However, since the size of chips is going down and down, the makers are compelled to deal with the quantum effect related to single electrons and atoms. They are currently finding substitute charge carriers that can replace electrons as the basic information carrying particles. This will help in carrying the information with respect to the Moore’s law and would serve the basis for creation of cheaper, faster, and super powerful electronics.
They have built a switch that uses a completely new type of matter known as Polariton Bose-Einstein condensate that will mix the optical and electrical signals with each other. These are generated by capturing light between some mirrors that are placed at a distance of some millionth of a metre.Placement of too many polaritons in same space generates condensation and leads to formation of light matter fluid that move in anticlockwise and clockwise direction.
Dr Alexander Dreismann, the lead author from Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, explains “The polariton switch unifies the best properties of electronics and optics into one tiny device that can deliver at very high speeds while using minimal amounts of power.”