Terahertz topological photonics for on-chip communication

Journal: Nature Photonics

Published: 2020-04-13

DOI: 10.1038/s41566-020-0618-9

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 9

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Research Highlight

Overcoming a flaw of terahertz radiation

© zf L/Getty

© zf L/Getty

A chip that uses terahertz radiation to transfer data so fast that it can stream 4K high-definition videos in real time has been demonstrated.

This year has seen 5G wireless communication systems being implemented in many places, allowing mobile device users to stream data faster than ever before. But researchers are already looking for technologies to realize 6G systems, which will transmit terabits of data per second.

Extending the range of wavelengths used into the terahertz region is an attractive way to realize these data rates, but terahertz radiation is sensitive to small defects in the waveguides used to guide them.

Now, a team led by researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, has overcome this problem by using on-chip devices known as photonic topological insulators. These materials convey light waves only on their surfaces and are robust to defects.

Terahertz communication with topological devices could help realize artificial intelligence and cloud-based technologies, the researchers anticipate.

Supported content

  1. Nature Photonics 14, 446–451 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41566-020-0618-9
Institutions Share
Osaka University, Japan 0.56
Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore 0.22
The Photonics Institute (TPI), Singapore 0.22