Media reported that the researchers made a major breakthrough in the control of THz quantum cascade lasers, achieving a transmission rate of 100 Gbps. A common 100 Mbps fast Ethernet is only one-thousandth of the former. Compared with other lasers, the new lasers can emit spectrum within the THz range and have a bright application prospect in the fields of spectroscopy and chemical analysis.
(Image via Slash Gear)
In addition, THz lasers have the potential to be ultra-fast and short-hop wireless links, enabling them to transmit large amounts of data in a very short time. It can also play a role in the interconnection (and even satellite communications) of cross-hospitals, campuses and research facilities.
To achieve higher data transmission, the team needed to turn and close lasers (extremely fast modulating optical signals) at a rate of about 100 billion times per second. Unfortunately, they have not yet developed a method to achieve this rapid modulation.
Quantum cascading lasers are quite efficient, scientists say. When an electron passes through the optical component of a laser, it also goes through a series of quantum traps, causing the electron’s energy level to drop and emitted photons or light energy pulses.
An electron can emit multiple photons, which is also a key process for modulation control. It is reported that the team used sound waves to stimulate the complex electronic state inside the quantum cascade laser, and then can see that the output of the THz laser is changed by the sound waves.
Scientists say the results open up a new field of physics and engineering, allowing people to explore the interaction of THz sound and light waves together.