EPFL Power and Wide-Band-Gap Electronics Research Laboratory have recently developed a fantastic nanodevice that uses nanoplasma to generate high-power THz waves. The device is meant for application in hand-held devices such as smartphones and future ultra-fast electronics.
To understand the importance of the device better, it must be seen in comparison to conventional electronic devices that uses switching at speeds of up to one volt per picosecond. The new nanodevice can do it ten times faster. It can also stir high-energy and high-frequency pulses.
Like Prof. Elison Matioli said, “high-frequency, high-power and nanoscale aren’t terms you’d normally hear in the same sentence.” Prof. Matioli is head of the team at the PowerLab that developed the device.
The nanodevice is ten faster than other technologies, and it might lead to ultra-fast wireless communication
A terahertz (THz) is a multiple-hertz. Its radiation is known as submillimeter radiation or tremendously high frequency. So far, THz hasn’t been used because of its high costs and generating difficulties. Central processing units of computers are rated in megahertz or gigahertz. Terahertz has a higher value than the two.
Matioli’s nanodevice can generate high-power THz waves with the help of one-trillionth of second high-power signals. It is also compatible with chip and flexible technologies such as a smartphone. So, the two impediments in using THz technology were overcome.
The nanodevice is made from two metal plates 20 nanometers apart. At a specific voltage, the electrons that accumulate in plasma on one of the plates are instantaneously emitted on the second one. Those fast switches generate a high-intensity pulse, which ultimately creates high-frequency waves. “Normally, it’s impossible to achieve high values for both variables,” says Prof. Matioli.
Simplicity, low-cost, and excellent performance is the interface of future ultra-fast electronics. Also, the new technology might become a source of many other things than generating THz.