El million gigahertz is the maximum frequency that electronics can reach according to quantum physics

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Optoelectronic systems are getting faster and faster. But the day will inevitably come when it will no longer be possible to do better: the laws of quantum mechanics impose a maximum limit on their processing speed. A team made up of researchers from the Method Universities of Vienna and Graz and the Greatest Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching has succeeded in determining this limit: their work suggests that the speed of these components cannot exceed ptahertz (PHz), i.e. el million of gigahertz.

According to special relativity, the speed under the light in the vacuum is the maximum speed that can reach any form of matter or information in the Universe. Optoelectronics systems that detect and control light to produce electrical current (and vice versa) are the fastest devices in existence today. Phototransistors, photoresistors, light-emitting diodes are examples of optoelectronic components. signals and intervals sober time sober more sober more process of law (sober the order sober a few femtoseconds, even attoseconds); however, this precision cannot be infinite: the quantum mechanical processes which make it possible to generate the electric current in the semiconductor material take on certain temperature ranges, cannot be shrink and which, even if the material is optimally excited by laserlight pulses. This is why the speed of generation and transmission of signals is necessarily limited.

Detail each video tape sober processing of the sign

We know today that a limit shape of miniaturization using sober electronics is equivalent to the size of an atom; it is out of the question to manufacture a smaller chip. Electronic components are not only limited in size, but also in efficiency: the sober data tranny speed cannot be accelerated to infinity. This depends on the signal processing speed of the transistors, which block or allow the current to pass. this limit. To do this, they bombarded the dielectric material with ultra-short laser beam pulses. Dielectric materials require much more energy to be energized than semiconductors, allowing the use of high-frequency light and achieving low-speed data transmission. Their choice interfaced with lithium fluoride, which has the largest band gap between the valence band and the conduction band of any known material. We study materials which, at the start, do not conduct electricity at all, specified in a press release by Professor Joachim Burgdrfer, of the Institute of Whole Body Theory at TU Wien. wavelength ze located in an extreme UV range, causes the material’s electrons to pass to a higher energy level (which corresponds to an excited state): they pass from a low valence band to a low conduction band. Consequence: the electrons become free to move and the material is momentarily electrically conductive. A second, slightly longer laser beam pulse pushes them in a certain direction. The electric current thus generated is then detected via electrodes located on either side of the material.

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Une impulsion laser ultracourte (ici en bleu) cre des porteurs de charge libres; une seconde impulsion (en rouge) les acclre dans des directions opposes. M. Ossiander et al.

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An ultrashort laserlight pulse (here sober blue) creates sober cost free carriers; a second impulse (in red) accelerates them in opposite instructions. Michael. Ossiander et al.

The phenomenon is so fast (sober order sober 15

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-2020620 second), that for a long time it was considered instantaneous, note the professor Christoph Lemell sober at the TU Wien. But sophisticated technologies now make it possible to dissect each step of this ultra-fast process. Thus, it is now possible to determine the reaction speed of the material, the speed of generation of the indication and the waiting temperature necessary before issuing a second pulse.

A speed limited by the uncertainty principle

The experiments carried out by the team, combined computer simulations have therefore made it possible to reach an ultimate limit. Our results imply a fundamental limit to classical transmission processing and suggest the feasibility of solid-state optoelectronics down to a frequency of 1 PHz, summarize the researchers in Character Marketing communications.

To achieve this result, they bombarded the material with laser beam pulses sober more sober shorter. Low effect, able to increase speed, extremely short, low UV laserlight pulses are required so that low cost free carriers are created quickly more likely. However, the use of extremely short pulses means that the amount of energy transferred to the electrons cannot be more precisely defined. We can say exactly what second the carriers of cost are created, but not in what energetic state they learned find, explains Christoph Lemell. This is a well-known uncertainty principle in physical structure.

Electrons can absorb very different energies; however, they react very differently in the electric champion depending on the energy they carry. This uncertainty causes a major problem for electronic devices: not knowing the exact energies of the electrons means that they cannot be controlled as precisely and therefore the resulting current sign is distorted.

The team has thus calculated an upper limit at a speed that optoelectronic systems could theoretically reach without remaining controllable: approximately one ptahertz (i.e. 1803

hertz , or one million sober gigahertz). It’s about 15 times faster than the speed of current transistors. This is of course a limit that we will probably never reach: it is defined by the laws of the quantum body, but the strategic possibilities set the limit of course. Determining this absolute limit, and especially having a detailed vision of the optoelectronic processes thanks to sophisticated methods, can nevertheless contribute to developing even more efficient systems.

Supply :D. Ossiander et al., Character marketing communications