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Optical diode boosts silicon photonics efforts

11/28/2011 02:49 PM EST
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zeeglen
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re: Optical diode boosts silicon photonics efforts
zeeglen   11/28/2011 6:49:42 PM
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Interesting and kudos to the developers, but semantics could be a bit confusing. On reading the headline it sounded like a better laser/led/pin/avalanche device had been invented. These devices names indicate their function and they are all considered optical diodes. Too bad the name 'diode' is already in use for photon sources and sinks that interact with moving electrons, as well as electron diodes that permit (in most uses) only one-way flow of electrons. They too have names that indicate function - zener, switching, rectifier, varactor, Schottky, tunnel, Gunn, etc; and they have a cathode and anode which is why they are called diodes. Maybe these new devices could be named something like 'optical check valves' to distinguish their function. Or maybe a 'Ross turnstile'. Whatever, this sounds like another significant milestone in the development of optical switching technology.

Robotics Developer
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re: Optical diode boosts silicon photonics efforts
Robotics Developer   11/29/2011 2:14:28 AM
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I would call them light switches or maybe even traffic lights.. :}) If they could now turn the effect on/off that would be a really neat device..

Dave.Dykstra
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re: Optical diode boosts silicon photonics efforts
Dave.Dykstra   11/29/2011 6:03:25 AM
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Another interesting development in photonics. Since this can be done with standard processing, it should be fairly straightforward to manufacture and should provide some new more cost effective designs in the not too distant future.

Luis Sanchez
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re: Optical diode boosts silicon photonics efforts
Luis Sanchez   11/29/2011 6:15:15 PM
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I agree with you zeeglen in that the article’s title could be improved… I too were mislead in to thinking of a diode that instead of Light Emitting, it sensed light. But can we settle for only a light rectifier diode? I think that actually keeps it simple and understandable. Anyways, this indeed approaches one step closer to having the long pursued optical circuit. Congratulations to the MIT professor.

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