First electricity, then light…now sound waves
A light scattering phenomenon long considered a nuisance by the electronics and communications industries is emerging as a possible new way to transform 5G and broadband networks, sensors, satellite communications and defence systems.
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) researcher Professor Christopher Poulton is part of a global renaissance of researchers exploring both the applications and “blue sky” potential of a phenomena that could lead to what has been described as a “third wave of integrated circuits.”
Known as “Brillouin scattering”, the phenomenon – first predicted in 1922, though not measured until 1958 - occurs when light and sound waves are “coupled” causing an enhanced feedback loop between photons (light) and phonons (sound). This can cause problems in high-power laser systems used for communications, sensing and defence, because when the light scatters the power of the signal is reduced.
Together with other global leaders in the field Professor Poulton has published a review article in Nature Photonics outlining the history and potential of what scientists refer to as ‘Brillouin integrated photonics’.
Lead author, and head of the Sydney Nanoscience Hub, Professor Ben Eggleton said the Brillouin scattering process offers “a completely new way to integrate optical information into a chip environment using sound waves as a buffer to slow down the data without the heat that electronic systems produce.
Read the full story at UTS News in Science