Broadband fiber optics carry information at the speed of light. The coding and processing of the light affects the data rates.
The world’s first nanophotonic device
The world’s first nanophotonic device encodes more data and uses a special ‘twisted’ light form to process much faster than conventional fiber optics.
The author of the paper’s author, from RMIT Science School, Dr. Haoran Ren said the small nanophotonic device they produce to read the twisted light is the missing key needed to unlock super-fast, ultra-broadband communication.
“What we have managed to do is to accurately communicate the data with the highest capacity of light, which allows us to greatly increase our bandwidth.”
Today’s technology uses only a fraction of the actual capacity of light
State-of-the-art fiber optic communications, such as those used on Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), use only a fraction of the actual capacity of light by moving data onto the color spectrum.
Developing new broadband technologies use the waveform or shape of light waves to encode data, but also increase the bandwidth using the light we cannot see.
This state-of-the-art technology carries the data at the extreme point of optical communication, but still on the light waves twisted into a spiral to further increase their capacity. This is known as orbital angular momentum or OAM in case of light.
In 2016, the same group from RMIT’s Artificial Intelligence Nanophotonics (LAIN) Laboratory published a devastating research paper in Science, explaining how it could manage to solve a small portion of this bent light on the nanofotonic chip. However, to date, technology that detects a wide OAM light for optical communication was still not valid.
“To do this earlier, a machine must require a size that is completely impractical for telecommunications. Using ultra-fine topological nanotubes that measure part of the millimeter, our invention makes this work better and fits into the tip of an optical fiber.”
What is the OAM light (Orbital angular momentum of light)?
The orbital angular momentum light (OAM) is the component of the angular momentum of a beam of light, which depends on the spatial distribution of the field, not on polarization. It can be further divided into an internal and external OAM. The internal OAM is a radially independent angular momentum of a light beam that can be associated with a helical or twisted wave front. The external OAM is the cross-sum of the light beam position (the center of the beam) and the angular momentum, which can be obtained as the total linear momentum.
Professor Min Gu, “Our nano-electronic detector is like an ‘eye’ that can ‘see’ the information carried by the bent light, and decodes it for understanding by the electronics, the high performance, low cost and small size of this technology production of broadband optical communication, “he said.
Olarak Fits the scale of existing fiber technology and can be applied to increase bandwidth over 100x or potentially processing speed over the next few years. This will have easy scalability and great impact on telecommunications. What’s so exciting
Gu said that the detector can also be used to retrieve quantum information transmitted by twist light, which means that there may be a range of state-of-the-art quantum communication and quantum computing research applications. “Our nano-electronic device will fully open the potential of bent light for future optical and quantum communications”