It is assumed that the sixth-generation mobile networks will allow you to transfer data at speeds up to 8000 Gbit/s. Against this background, the wired Internet seems incredibly slow. Many users now receive at best 100 Mbit/s over the cable. Scientists have found an opportunity to increase these indicators by a thousand times.
Researchers from the University of Leeds and the University of Nottingham report a breakthrough in the control of a terahertz quantum cascade laser. A distinctive feature of these lasers is that they operate in the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum. This means that to send data using this technology, lasers must be modulated very quickly: turn on and off or pulse about 100 billion times per second. Until recently, this was not possible. Scientists are confident that they have found a way to implement a complex task. To do this, need to combine the power of acoustic and light waves.
"This is an exciting study. Currently, the system for modulating a quantum cascade laser is powered by an electric drive, but this technology has limitations. Ironically, the same electronics that provide modulation usually slow down the modulation rate. The mechanism we are developing relies instead on acoustic waves," says one of the authors of the study.
Scientists explain that to achieve their goal, they used acoustic waves that cause quantum wells inside a quantum cascade laser to vibrate. The acoustic waves themselves were generated when another laser pulse was applied to the aluminum film. This led to the expansion and compression of the film, which sent a mechanical wave through a quantum cascade laser.
In the future, it is planned to develop a new mechanism for full control of photon emission from the laser. This is expected to allow data to be transmitted over long distances at a speed of about 100 Gbit/s.