Photons encoding a step toward photonic chips

A Chinese research team has successfully realized the regulation and encoding of photons, a step toward producing photonic chips, next-generation technology believed to be faster and more power-efficient than today’s semiconductor electronic chips.

Photons encoding a step toward photonic chips

The research team was led by Professor Jiang Liyong of Nanjing University of Science and Technology in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province.

Semiconductor electronic chips have a “glass ceiling” that keeps them from achieving higher storage density and computing speed, as restricted by the material’s physical law, making all electron motions uncertain, Jiang said.

“Using photonic chips as an information carrier can break the restriction,” Jiang said.

However, to realize the photonic chips, scientists have to “tame” the photons first, giving them the functions of coding, storage and computing, he said.

Jiang’s team developed a method called “in-plane coherent control” making it possible to integrate photons in nano-scale units.

He said their study showed that the photon control method could be applied in fields like integrated optical communication and micro-nano display and sensing.

The research result was published in the latest issue of Light: Science & Applications, a top international journal in the field of optics and photonics.