Ultra-fast communications and computing is work in progress. While we have come a long way already, a lot more remains to be achieved, vis-à-vis cutting edge technology. Researchers from the University of Utah have taken another step forward in that direction by uncovering a special type of perovskite – a mix of an inorganic and organic compound having similar structure to the original mineral – that can be coated on a silicon wafer resulting in creating a crucial piece of the communications system of the future.
Such a system would leverage the terahertz spectrum, the futuristic communications bandwidth that supplants electricity with light to transfer data, enabling users of internet and cellphone to carry information exponentially faster.
The new research, conducted by University of Utah was published in the recent-most edition of Nature Communications.
How it all works?
The terahertz range is a band within infrared light and radio waves. It uses frequencies from 100 gigahertz to 10,000 gigahertz (a usual cellphone needs just 2.4 gigahertz to operate). The team of researchers at Utah University found out that by coating multiple layers of perovskite on to a silicon wafer, they can manipulate terahertz waves moving through by leveraging a simple halogen lamp. Manipulating the amplitude of terahertz radiation is necessary as this is how data would be carried in such a communications system.
Earlier too scientists had made similar attempts to accomplish this, but it required a costly, high-power laser. The latest demonstration, however, stands out because of the lamp power that enables for this modulation but also the particular color of the light. Subsequently, they can put various perovskites on the same silicon substrate, so that every region could be controlled by various colors from the lamp. This cannot be achieved easily through typical semiconductors such as silicon.