So-called spin lasers may potentially accelerate data transfer in optical fibre cables to a considerable extent, while reducing energy consumption at the same time.
Engineers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a novel concept for rapid data transfer via optical fibre cables. In current systems, a laser transmits light signals through the cables and information is coded in the modulation of light intensity. The new system, a semiconductor spin laser, is based on a modulation of light polarisation instead. Published on 3 April 2019 in the journal “Nature”, the study demonstrates that spin lasers have the capacity of working at least five times as fast as the best traditional systems, while consuming only a fraction of energy. Unlike other spin-based semiconductor systems, the technology potentially works at room temperature and doesn’t require any external magnetic fields. The Bochum team at the Chair of Photonics and Terahertz Technology implemented the system in collaboration with colleagues from Ulm University and the University at Buffalo.