Feeds

Nanowire laser is a GaAs, GaAs, GaAs (with a bit of arsenic)

Boffins demo room-temp nano-lasers to help marry optics and electronics

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

A group of researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) is showing off nanowire-based lasers, as part of the microelectronics world's ongoing search for the best way to integrate electronics and photonics.

The research, described in a Nature Photonics paper (abstract) led by Professor Chennupati Jagadish, demonstrates a process for growing gallium arsenide nanowires that act as lasers at room temperature.

Or, as the researchers put it in the abstract: “we demonstrate room-temperature lasing in core–shell–cap GaAs/AlGaAs/GaAs nanowires by properly designing the Fabry–Pérot cavity, optimising the material quality and minimising surface recombination”.

As many El Reg readers know, a conventional laser sets up a resonance in light by pumping a material to release light inside a mirrored cavity – and as ANU student Dhruv Saxena explains, even at small scales (like LED lasers), building lasers involves a number of processing steps.

In the ANU scheme, a GaAs-based nanowire captures light and reflect it along its axis. As the ANU release states, the GaAs also provides the amplification medium – and that means the entire laser can exist in a structure that's just a few billionths of a metre in diameter.

The ANU's Nanowire GaAs laser

Nanowire lasers on substrate.

Source: ANU

Making the laser small is a step along the process of making it easy to integrate optics and electronics, an important goal in keeping Moore's Law rolling along: anywhere that light can replace electrons to communicate, a little bit of power (and therefore on-chip heat) is saved.

The other aspect of the work that ANU's pleased about is that it's a fairly straightforward manufacturing process. The nanowires are grown as crystals on a substrate scattered with gold particles that seed the growth.

“We provide gases containing gallium and arsenic and raise the temperature of the substrate up to 750°C. At these temperatures the elements react and nanowires start growing”, said Dr Sudha Mokkapati, who co-authored the paper with Saxena. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.