Posted on 14/11/2014
The drive towards decreasing dimensions of signal interconnects in an electronic chips prohibits the continued use of purely electric communications due to the increased time delays in nanoscale wires. These problems may be circumvented by nano-optical communications, which offer high confinement along with improved communication speeds. The team from the Experimental Biophysics and Nanotechnology Group in the Department of Physics at King’s College London has investigated the viability of electrically-driven nanoscale photonic devices for use in direct generation of plasmonic signals for on-chip optical communications.
The invited paper Dipolar emission in trench metal-insulator-metal waveguides for short-scale plasmonic communications, led by Ryan McCarron, PhD student at King’s, published in Journal of Optics considers optimization of metal waveguides integrated with luminescent polymers for use as highly localized light-sources in short-scale communication integrated circuits. Such active waveguides offer extremely high confinement of light with propagation on length scales appropriate to local interconnects (i.e., micrometer length). The confinement of these modes is approaching that of the expected necessary dimensions for interconnects by 2020 with time delay an order of magnitude lower than in modern electric interconnects.
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