Swiss researchers have developed a graphene filter for microchips that could lead to wireless transmission rates 10 times as fast as what chips deliver today.
The team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Geneva fabricated a non-reciprocal isolator. The isolator filters backward radiation, preventing waves from being reflected back toward their source. Graphene is believed to outperform any other candidate in the terahertz range, and terahertz frequencies would give next-generation mobile devices the ability to transmit data at superfast speeds.
Many of the building blocks in wireless devices that transmit signals using microwaves or visible light do not yet have analogs that manipulate terahertz waves.
"It's the first building block of this kind [an isolator in the range 1 THz to 10 THz], which solves an important open challenge," says EPFL postdoctoral researcher Michele Tamagnone. He thinks the chip could be used to protect terahertz sources and the cost could be very competitive.
The next step for the researchers is to develop a non-reciprocal circulator, which is used in microwave communications and, when connected to an antenna, transmit and receive information at the same time. "Graphene has the potential to [allow implementation of] this device at terahertz frequencies," Tamagnone says.
From IEEE Spectrum
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