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All-Optical Computing Gets Another Arrow in Its Quiver

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A false-color micrograph of nanowires made of indium phosphide (purple) forming junctions with a nanowire made of aluminium gallium arsenide (green).

Researchers at Aalto University in Finland say they have been able to fabricate all-optical logic gates from nanowires in a way thats easier than ever before.

Credit: Science Advances/Aalto University

Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have developed all-optical logic gates from nanowires in a novel way, a significant step in the development of on-chip, all-optical logic components for use in future photonic computing systems.

The logic gates can perform AND, OR, NAND, and NOR binary logic functions, upon which all other logic and mathematical functions can be built.

Although other all-optical logic gates have been developed, the Aalto researchers say their nanowire networks are easier to fabricate and assemble because they do not require sensitive, complex steps involving the use of electron beam lithography or focused-ion beams.

Still, Aalto's Henri Jussila said, "The quantum efficiency of the nanowires needs to be higher so that these switches and logic gates lose as few photons as possible when they are operating."

From IEEE Spectrum
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