Scientists were able to transport electrons at less than one quadrillionth of a second (sub-femtosecond speeds) in a trial test. In a world taken over by technology, this is beneficial for data transfer and computing.
This new setup consists of handling the electrons with light waves that are mainly constructed and generated by an ultrafast laser. Although it will take a while until it is part of our devices, the setup sounds very promising, and its a significant step forward into technology.
At the moment, the quickest electronic components can be switched on or off in picoseconds, which compared to the new setup where scientists were able to change electric currents at about 600 attoseconds, one femtosecond being 1,000 attoseconds.
Data Transfer and Computing Is Faster Than Never Thanks to a New Technology
“This may well be the distant future of electronics,” says physicist Alfred Leitenstorfer from the University of Konstanz in Germany. “Our experiments with single-cycle light pulses have taken us well into the attosecond range of electron transport.”
Leitenstorfer and his team build the setup at the Centre for Applied Photonics in Konstanz. The machine incorporates the ability to manipulate ultrashort light pulses prudently as well as to construct the necessary nanostructures.
The elaborate setup proved to be challenging for scientists, but using the incredibly fast oscillations of light to aid electrons to pick up speed could give new ways for pushing the limits on electronics. Scientists are currently trying to make that light and electronics to collaborate in all sorts of ways so that one day it will overcome today’s computing.
“This is very basic research we are talking about here and may take decades to implement,” says Leitenstorfer. Using the same principle, the research team whats to test a range of various setups. According to them, this method could offer more knowledge regarding quantum computing, although there is much more work ahead till then.
David Blair was a reporter for Henri Le Chat Noir, before becoming the lead editor. David has over 20 bylines and has reported on countless stories concerning all things related to science, games and technology. David studied at Birmingham University.