Researchers at the University of Rochester and Germany's Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have created the fastest logic gate to date, powered by laser-generated ultrafast bursts of electricity.
The researchers harnessed gold-graphene-gold junctions to produce "real" and "virtual" versions of particles carrying the electrical bursts' component charges.
Real charge carriers are light-excited electrons that remain in directional motion even after the laser pulse is deactivated, while virtual charge carrier electrons' directional motion ceases when the pulse terminates.
The graphene-gold connection's metal absorbs the real and virtual charge carriers to generate a net current.
The researchers were able to control both charge carriers independently by changing the shape of the laser pulse.
The team experimentally enabled femtosecond-operating logic gates, which demonstrated "that lightwave electronics is practically possible," according to FAU's Tobias Boolakee.
From University of Rochester NewsCenter
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