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New Design Proposed For THz PIC Circuits

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Dr. Uriel Levy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Photo

A team of researchers at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU), led by physicist Dr. Uriel Levy, announced recently that their work with metal oxide nitride oxide silicon (MONOS) semiconductor structures has led to what they believe is a new approach to creating a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) that functions like the flash technology employed in computer memory cards. Researchers said they believe their approach enables standard 8-16 gigahertz (GHz) computers to run 100 times faster; the discovery may bring all optic devices closer to what Levy's team described as the 'holy grail' of communications: the terahertz (THz) chip.

Dr. Levy and his team worked on their new development for three years. The team's primary findings were reported in a recent edition of "Laser and Photonics Review." Levy, head of HU’s Nano-Opto Group, and HU emeritus professor Joseph Shappir, have shown proof of concept for an optic technology that integrates speed of light communications with the reliability, manufacturing and scalability of electronics.

Until now, researchers said two major challenges stood in the way of creating the terahertz microchip: overheating and scalability, which Levy's team believes could be overcome through their approach.

“This discovery could help fill the ‘THz gap’ and create new and more powerful wireless devices that could transmit data at significantly higher speeds than currently possible. In the world of hi-tech advances, this is game-changing technology," Dr. Levy said.

Levy's work was funded by a Kamin grant from Israel's Ministry of Trade and Industry. The team indicated that it is working towards a means to take the new technology to its next exploratory steps towards manufacturability.


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