Light is the fastest thing we know, So it makes sense to take advantage of it for ultra-fast communication systems.Fiber optic does just that, which allows us to guide ourselves precisely where we want to send messages, but speed is not the only factor, since more data can be included in each message “spinning" the light.
Now, Australian researchers have developed a device to decode those beams that It is small enough to fit at the end of a fiber optic cable.
Traditionally, fiber optic technology carries information such as pulses of light, and scientists are currently experimenting with an increase in bandwidth making use of the "shape" of light as well.Twisting beams of light in a form of “corkscrew"Is emerging as a particularly promising method, and the degree of torsin is known as theorbital angular momentum ofthe light (OAM).
How does this method work?
Instead of a wavelength being an information channel, each “turn” of the light can encode a different value, and even better, there is a thermally infinite number of turns, which allows much more data to be transmitted.
But that does not help if that information cannot be decoded at the other end.The devices to do that job are generally large and bulky.but now the RMIT researchers and the Wollongong University have developed a much smaller version.
The device works thanks to a complementary metal oxide semiconductor sensor (CMOS), a term with which you may be familiar in the world of cameras.These chips convert incoming photons into electrons, which allows the data to be read by conventional electronics.But before the light touches the sensor, it passes through another layer that unravels the crooked light.
"Our miniature OAM nanoelectronic detector is designed to separate different states of OAM light in a continuous order and to decode information carried by crooked light," he says. Haoran Ren, co-lead author of the study.“To do this, a machine the size of a table will be required beforehand, which is completely printed for telecommunications. By using ultrafine topological nanosheets that measure a fraction of a millimeter, our invention does this job better and fits the end of a fiber optic ”.
Fiber optic performance
That small size is key to its usefulness, since the device can be integrated into the existing infrastructure.The team says it can also be used to decode the quantum information sent through the torsin light.
"The high performance, low cost and small size of this technology make it a viable application for the next generation of optical broadband communications," says Min Gu, co-author of the study.“It fits the scale of the existing fiber technology and can be applied to increase the bandwidth, or potentially processing speed, of that fiber by more than 100 times in the next few years. This easy scalability and the massive impact it will have on telecommunications is what is so exciting. ”