China has created a metamaterial for chips that slows down light 10,000 times

China has created a metamaterial for chips that slows down light 10,000 times

In China, a metamaterial was created to slow down light by a factor of 10,000. This will help processors switch from electrons to photons, reports TechNewsSpace.

Silicon photonics promises to reduce power consumption and increase computer performance. To abandon the flow of electrons and switch to photons, it is necessary to somehow harmonize the interaction of photons with the chip materials and develop many new ways of controlling them.

However, first you need to increase the energy density of the light, thereby slowing it down with minimal loss. What, in fact, scientists from China have achieved.

In one of the latest issues of the journal Nano letters, a team of researchers from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported that they had created a metamaterial that can slow down light 10,000 times with a 20% loss compared to previous attempts.

This means that light passes through the chip (channel) with less absorption and less scattering. This significantly increases energy efficiency and reduces heat generation.

The increase in energy density due to the light-slowing effect offers tangible levers to control the light signal that can already be used in applied problems, the researchers say.

Scientists were able to achieve such a result with the help of a specially structured surface. 100 nm silicon wafers are placed one after the other in the form of a periodic lattice structure.

They act as resonators, changing the amplitudes and phases of the input signal. At the same time, an important property of the metamaterial is the ability to “push” photons from the middle of the material to its surface, as a result of which absorption almost does not occur.

In addition, the scattered single photons are directed back in the desired direction by nearby structures, which also reduced losses and made better use of the incident light (signal).

“With Metasurface technology, photonic chips can be as thin as stickers or building blocks, and can be functionally stacked on top of each other. Using the time-lapse lighting effect can greatly improve performance.” – say the developers.

Earlier, ProIT wrote that the global chip market will grow to a record $588 billion in 2024.

We also reported that in In 2024, Intel plans mass production of the 15th generation Arrow Lake with a 2nm (20A) chip.

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