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[Physorg] From opals to optical chips

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Interesting read...

Quote:
Materials known as photonic crystals could form the building blocks of future optical computers and micro-scale communications devices. Scientists have developed a low-cost and versatile way to make photonic crystals, and combined them in ways that bring optical ‘transistors’ a step closer.

European research on materials known as photonic crystals has made important progress in the race to build all-optical chips for computers and communications systems. The scientists developed a relatively inexpensive way to make high-quality photonic crystals, and showed how these can be integrated into conventional silicon chips.

Photonic crystals are materials whose optical properties vary in a regular, repeating way on a scale of a few hundred nanometres. An ideal photonic crystal can be designed to transmit light of one particular wavelength, and to block all other wavelengths. This gives photonic crystals some very useful properties.

The simplest material of this kind has a layered structure, like a film of oil on water. ‘One-dimensional’ structures like this are used as mirrors, non-reflective coatings, and paints whose colours change with the viewing angle. The gemstone opal, with its shimmering colour, is a natural photonic crystal.
Source



~R
post #2 of 3
Most people don't know that a lot of the technology these days still run off of crystals. When you run a current through them they resonate at a particular frequency. We still use it in everything from watches to radar. This article was interesting because even I didn't know they could make em that small.
post #3 of 3
i dont think my watch has it since its not digital but good read non the less, and how long will it take to get fiber optic lines into processors?
    
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Q6700 Intel DP45SG Visiontek HD 4870 2x2GB DDR3 1066 
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320 Western Digital + 1TB Black Caviar WD Samsung Sata vista ultimate x64/Windows 7 Ultimate 64x Samsung T220 22 inch 
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