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Trapping Light That Doesn't Bounce Off Track for Faster Electronics


An anisotropic metamaterial waveguide cladding keeps light travel on track throughout a computer chip.

Researchers have developed a metamaterial "cladding" that can block the leakage of light from computer chips, in a step toward faster electronics.

Credit: Saman Jahani/Purdue University

An international project led by Purdue University researchers has yielded a metamaterial "cladding" to block the leakage of light from computer chips, in a step toward faster electronics.

Purdue's Zubin Jacob says, "We want the bits of information that we are sending in the waveguide to travel along tight bends and simultaneously not be lost as heat."

The team was able to prevent light from leaking off track into other waveguides and causing information-mixing or "crosstalk" by controlling the cladding's anisotropy to enable light to travel at different velocities in different directions; as a result, light-carried bits stay strongly contained in the waveguide.

Purdue's Saman Jahani says the waveguide has extreme skin depth to ensure leakage is minuscule, which "can pave the way for dense photonic integration on a computer chip without worrying about light leakage."

From Purdue University News
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