(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from Osaka and Nanyang Technological Universities have built a new chip based on photonic topological insulators that will enable data transmission for 6G networks. Scientists spoke about their work in the pages of the journal Nature Photonics.
Terahertz waves, or T-rays, are located in the electromagnetic spectrum between infrared and microwave radiation. They have a high frequency and in the future can be used to transmit information in networks of the next generation.
However, fundamental problems need to be addressed before using this type of radiation in telecommunications. The biggest of these are material defects and frequent transmission errors that are found in conventional waveguides such as crystals or hollow cables.
These problems can be overcome by using photonic topological insulators in which light waves travel along the surface and edges of the material. When light travels along them, it can be redirected to go around sharp corners, and then its flow will resist breaking the imperfections of the material.
The authors of the new study have created a small silicon chip with rows of triangular holes that point in opposite directions from each other. When moving along such a chip, the light waves become topologically protected.
Scientists have shown that such a chip can transmit signals without errors, directing terahertz waves around 10 sharp corners at a speed of 11 gigabits per second, bypassing any material defects that might arise during the silicon production phase.
The discovery of the researchers will allow the creation of terahertz interconnectors in the future – structures that connect various components in a circuit. They can be integrated into next generation wireless devices. According to calculations, 6G networks will allow data transfer at speeds of several terabytes per second.
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