posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 05:52 PM
For the first time, a group of chemists, physicists, and engineers has developed crystalline materials that allow an optical fiber to have integrated,
high-speed electronic functions. The potential applications of such optical fibers include improved telecommunications and other hybrid optical and
electronic technologies, improved laser technology, and more-accurate remote-sensing devices. The research was initiated by Rongrui He, a postdoctoral
researcher in the Department of Chemistry at Penn State University. The international team, led by John Badding, a professor of chemistry at Penn
State, will publish its findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
The big breakthrough here is that we don't need the whole chip as part of the finished product. They have managed to build the junction - the active
boundary where all the electronic action takes place - right into the fibre. While conventional chip fabrication requires multimillion dollar clean
room facilities, this process can be performed with simple equipment that costs much less. The next step into a virtual reality.