Spreading Light On Optical Networks - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Feature
News
3/7/2002
02:07 PM
50%
50%

Spreading Light On Optical Networks

Blazing-fast fiber-optic networks that carry vast amounts of data could become simpler and far less-expensive for companies to use, thanks to Bell Laboratories. Scientists there have developed a high-performance semiconductor laser, the world's first that operates across a wide spectrum of light.


laser

Ultrawideband laser peaks at 1.3 watts.
Because the wideband laser emits light across a broad spectrum, it can be used in fiber-optic networks to replace multiple narrowband lasers, each of which creates only a single light frequency.

Researchers built the laser using 650 alternating layers of two materials common to lasers, gallium indium arsenide and aluminum indium arsenide; each layer was just a few atoms thick. "The layer thickness determines the light that's emitted, not the chemistry of the material," says Claire Gmachl, a physicist at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., the research unit of Lucent Technologies Inc. The various layers form 36 different regions, or stacks, each able to generate light over a distinct optical wavelength. The different wavelengths emitted by the 36 regions are blended together to create a continuous wideband optical signal.

The laser is remarkably versatile, with a peak power output of 1.3 watts. "We're getting very good laser performance, but at many wavelengths," Gmachl says. The new laser can be used right now to detect the presence of trace gases to sense pollutants or combustibles or for breath analysis in the medical field. Once the wideband laser concept is applied to lasers operating in the ranges used in telecommunications networks, the wideband properties can be used to replace multiple lasers in an optical component, enabling the production of simpler, less-expensive optical networking equipment.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
Commentary
The Best Way to Get Started with Data Analytics
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  7/8/2020
Slideshows
10 Cyberattacks on the Rise During the Pandemic
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  6/24/2020
News
IT Trade Shows Go Virtual: Your 2020 List of Events
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/29/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll