What is the invention?
Demonstrating the fastest optical switching signal in the attosecond time scale (1 attosecond = one quintillionth of a second) and encoding date with petahertz rate on ultrafast laser pulses.
How does the invention work?
We developed a unique device called an attosecond light field synthesizer (ALFS) “picture attached as Fig 1” to generate the fastest laser pulse as documented in the World Guinness Records. We utilized this sub-cycle laser pulse to modify the reflectivity properties of glass (fused silica) in real-time (the basic principle is shown in the attached Fig 2). The idea can be summarized as follows: the synthesized ultrafast laser pulse, generated by ALFS, is focused, interacts with the glass substrate, and changes its optical property. Hence, the glass is converted from a fully transparent to a partially reflected material in the presence of the laser pulse. Then, the reflected detected signal (after subtracting the background) switches between the two statuses: ON and OFF, with a speed of 900 attoseconds. This demonstration paves the way to establish the ultrafast optical transistor and the future of ultrafast electronics.
Moreover, the ALFS device allows me to control and synthesize the ultrafast laser pulse with half-cycle (attosecond resolution). Hence, I can “on-demand” synthesize complex waveform of the laser pulse to control the switching signal alternative and encode data in the binary format "0&1" on the laser pulse "see fig. 3". This technique can be used to enhance the communication and data transfer rate to the petahertz/second speed.
What makes it novel?
My work demonstrates the fastest all-optical switching signal (1.1 petahertz). Hence, I strongly believe this demonstration paves the way to establishing Petahertz optical transistor, which is 1 million times faster than the current semiconductor. Moreover, this work demonstrates the capability to encode data on laser pulses for the first time.
How it would be produced, and where it would be applied?
The ALFS is a sophisticated interferometer of four spectral channels. Remarkably, this device principle was demonstrated recently on a chip by Intel in June 2022. Accordingly, developing attosecond optical switches and transistors on electronic chips is very viable. This ultrafast optical transistor is the best replacement for the semiconductor-based transistor in a vast range of electronics industry applications and for building optical computers.
Moreover, this new advancement allows encoding data on ultrafast laser pulses, which increase the data transfer speed and could be used in long-distance communications (i.e., from Earth to deep space). This advancement promises to increase the limiting speed of data processing and information encoding to rates beyond petabit/s. The optical-based ultrafast data communication overcoming the typical data transmission challenges nowadays:
- Laser beam travels long distances in the air (or optical fiber) due to its coherence characteristic. Hence the data will be preserved, with a minimum noise level, through long-range transmission.
- The data transfer by an ultrafast laser pulse is in the form of digital encoding, which enhances data communication security.
- Transferring data by laser pulse would reduce the cost of the typical communication infrastructure.
Therefore, ultrafast photonics is the future of the electronics industry.