"If you want to use this device for Wi-Fi, you need to be able to put useful information in the microwave signals and extract that information from the device," said Marco Piccardo, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and first author of the paper.
The first thing the new device needed to transmit microwave signals was an antenna. So, the researchers etched a gap into the top electrode of the device, creating a dipole antenna. Next, they modulated the frequency comb to encode information on the microwave radiation created by the beating light of the comb. Then, using the antenna, the microwaves are radiated out from the device, containing the encoded information. The radio signal is received by a horn antenna, filtered and sent to a computer.
The researchers also demonstrated that the laser radio could receive signals. The team was able to remotely control the behavior of the laser using microwave signals from another device.