March 27, 2013

Penn Engineers Enable ‘Bulk’ Silicon to Emit Visible Light for the First Time

Electronic computing speeds are brushing up against limits imposed by the laws of physics. Photonic computing, where photons replace comparatively slow electrons in representing information, could surpass those limitations, but the components of such computers require semiconductors that can emit light.      

Now, research from the University of Pennsylvania has enabled "bulk" silicon to emit broad-spectrum, visible light for the first time, opening the possibility of using the element in devices that have both electronic and photonic components.