Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ultrafast technology shifts to wafer scale

Could compact femtosecond laser be used to clock the multicore computer processors of the future? Optics & Laser Europe magazine recently reports ultrafast pioneer Ursula Keller of ETH Zurich, Switzerland, to find out about her latest idea.

Ultrafast VECSELs(vertical external-cavity surface-emitting lasers) have three main cavity elements: the gain structure, an output coupler and a semiconductor saturable absorber mirror. The essence of Keller's idea is to integrate the gain and the saturable absorber into a single structure. With the only other cavity element being an output coupler, Keller thinks that MIXSELs(modelocked integrated external-cavity surface-emitting laser) could become a true wafer-scale technology.

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