Key step reached to­ward long-​sought goal of a silicon-​based laser

When it involves microelectronics, there’s one chemical aspect like no different: silicon, the workhorse of the transistor know-how that drives our info society. The numerous digital units we use in on a regular basis life are a testomony to how at present very excessive volumes of silicon-based parts could be produced at very low price. It appears pure, then, to make use of silicon additionally in different areas the place the properties of semiconductors—as silicon is one—are exploited technologically, and to discover methods to combine totally different functionalities. Of specific curiosity on this context are diode lasers, comparable to these employed in barcode scanners or laser pointers, that are sometimes primarily based on gallium arsenide (GaAs). Unfortunately although, the bodily processes that create mild in GaAs don’t work so properly in silicon. It subsequently stays an excellent, and long-standing, goal to seek out another path to realizing a ‘laser on silicon.’
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