At Germany's Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Austria's Vienna (TU Wien) and Graz Universities of Technology, researchers have determined that a microchip's maximum signal transmission speed is about 1 petahertz (1 million gigahertz), roughly 100,000 times faster than current transistors.
The researchers focused on increasing the switching signals of transistors to increase the speed of data transmission.
They applied an ultra-short laser pulse with frequency in the extreme UV range to a lithium fluoride sample and found that by putting the electrons in the lithium fluoride into a more energetic state, the material became an electrical conductor for a brief period.
The excited electrons were steered in a desired direction with a second laser pulse that lasted slightly longer.
TU Wien's Joachim Burgförder said, "At about 1 petahertz there is an upper limit for controlled optoelectronic processes."
From Graz University of Technology (Austria)
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