IBM Creation Could Boost Optical Networking - InformationWeek

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3/4/2003
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IBM Creation Could Boost Optical Networking

Researchers say they've created the world's smallest solid-state light emitter, which could have applications in ultra-fast optical networks

Researchers at IBM announced on Thursday that they have created the world's smallest solid-state light emitter, an advance that could have significant applications for optical networking.

By configuring a carbon nanotube into a transistor, scientists are able to apply a negative charge to one end and a positive charge to the other. When the opposing charges meet, they neutralize each other and generate light. Because it's a transistor, the device can be easily turned off and on, making it ideal for use in optoelectronics. The device, 50,000 times thinner than a human hair, could have applications in ultra-small, ultra-fast optical networks.

A report on the research appears in the May 2nd issue of the journal "Science."

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