Nanowires improve high-speed communication

April 11, 2019 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Nanowires improve high-speed communication
In a study published in Nature Communications, Chinese scientists have synthesized new nanowires with high carrier mobility and fast infrared light (IR) response, which could help in high-speed communication.

Currently optical communications use 1550 nm IR, which is received and converted into an electrical signal for computer processing, which requires fast light-to-electrical conversion to enable high-speed communications.

According to quantum theory, 1550 nm IR has energy of ~ 0.8 eV, and can only be detected by semiconductors with bandgaps lower than 0.8 eV, such as germanium (0.66 eV) and III-V compound materials such as InxGa1-xAs (0.35 to 1.42 eV) and InxGa1-xSb (0.17 to 0.73 eV). Unfortunately a key drwback of these materials is that they usually have huge crystal defects, which cause substantial degradation of photoresponse performance.

To address this problem, scientists from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and their collaborators synthesized highly crystalline ternary In0.28Ga0.72Sb nanowires to demonstrate high carrier mobility and fast IR response.

The growth mechanism and fast 1550 nm IR detection of the single-crystalline In0.28Ga0.72Sb ternary nanowires. Image courtesy of HAN Ning.

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