CTR front page news

Spring MPhC Meeting Presentations Now Available

The Microphotonics Center Spring meeting documents are now available. To access the documents you must be registered and have been granted access. If you feel you should have access to the documents, please contact Mindy Baughman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 617-254-6043.

First Germanium Laser

 

first germanium laser

Graphic: Christine Daniloff

MIT researchers have demonstrated the first laser built from germanium that can produce wavelengths of light useful for optical communication. It’s also the first germanium laser to operate at room temperature. Unlike the materials typically used in lasers, germanium is easy to incorporate into existing processes for manufacturing silicon chips. So the result could prove an important step toward computers that move data — and maybe even perform calculations — using light instead of electricity. But more fundamentally, the researchers have shown that, contrary to prior belief, a class of materials called indirect-band-gap semiconductors can yield practical lasers.

As chips’ computational capacity increases, they need higher-bandwidth connections to send data to memory. But conventional electrical connections will soon become impractical, because they’ll require too much power to transport data at ever higher rates. Transmitting data with lasers — devices that concentrate light into a narrow, powerful beam — could be much more power-efficient, but it requires a cheap way to integrate optical and electronic components on silicon chips.

See the MIT News Office for the full story.

Fall MPhC Meeting Presentations Now Available

The Microphotonics Center Fall meeting documents are now available. To access the documents you must be registered and have been granted access. If you feel you should have access to the documents, please contact Mindy Baughman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 617-254-6043.