New research could lead to 1,000x faster wireless data transfers.
Researchers at Pittsburgh University have found a way to modulate light in the terahertz bandwidth (THz, or 1 trillion cycles per second), with recorded frequencies of up to 15.6 THz.
With current generation wireless routers and networks working around speeds of 5 GHz (1 GHz = 1 billion cycles per second), the demonstration could one day lead to Wi-Fi networks well over a thousand times faster than current speeds.
To achieve the modulation, the team created a ‘frequency comb’ able to divide a single colour of light into a series of evenly spaced spectral lines spanning a more than 100 terahertz bandwidth by exciting a coherent collective of atomic motions in a semiconductor silicon crystal.
The team is already investigating the coherent oscillation of electrons, which could further extend the ability of harnessing light-matter interactions from the terahertz- to the petahertz-frequency range. Petahertz is another 1,000 times faster than terahertz.