The concept of a refrigerator that automatically handles your grocery shopping and alerts you to expired food may seem like an exhilarating glimpse into the not-so-distant future. However, the less glamorous side of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies in the enormous volumes of data it will generate, necessitating its storage and transmission between different points. Each cloud server, no matter how remote, physically exists somewhere and data must travel from that location to other areas, even within the server itself. This data transfer can potentially turn into a major hurdle for the efficiency of data processing.
Similarily, artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming an everyday feature, yet it also demands heavy data transfer. Technologies such as blockchain, increased media consumption, and virtual reality will all add to the rising tide of error messages and notifications urging us to boost our storage capacity and data communication bandwidth.
Spintronics is a field that explores the spin properties of electrons and it has the potential to revolutionize data storage and transfer by offering new types of memory devices that can store data more efficiently. Similarly, photonics can offer greater capacity than traditional technologies to encode information on light photons using their polarization, akin spin for electrons, but only if you can control it.
In research published in Nature Nanotechnology, physicists from TMOS, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems, including Associate Investigators from the City University of New York, the Australian National University, and the Airforce Research Laboratory, have developed a new method for designing metasurfaces. This method can engineer electromagnetic spin by generating a new type of photonic mode in an innovative Dirac-like waveguide. This advances previous research into low-loss information transfer that uses signal transmission along topological interfaces.
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