The speed of electronic devices like smartphones and computers could be boosted dramatically after an international research team discovered how to use ‘engineered light’ to control electrical currents.
Modern electronic circuits are made of transistors. These are found everywhere – from computers to smartphones and amplifiers – switching current on and off.
“The time it takes the transistor to switch from on to off and vice versa, determines the rate at which the device can perform operations,” said Monash University researcher and ARC Future Fellow, Dr Agustin Schiffrin, the lead investigator of the study.
“With a smaller switching time, the device performs much faster and can do a lot more.”
“We found that by using ultrashort bursts of light – which are the shortest and fastest tools available to researchers – an electric current can be turned on and off at rates thousands of times higher than those achieved in current state-of-the-art devices.”
The study was conducted by scientists from Monash University and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), in Germany.
Their findings pave the way for the design of electronic devices that are controlled optically and that can operate at frequencies much larger than those demonstrated until now.
Read more about this breakthrough study here. Story credit: Monash University newsroom.
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