A group of researchers from the USA succeeded in a record transmission using a common semiconductor laser system for the first time as a radio frequency transmitter. Thus, the researchers presented a laser system that is able to emit microwaves wirelessly, modulate them, and receive external radio frequency signals.
Therefore, this development enlarges possibilities for the creation of novel types of hybrid electronic-photonic devices, and moreover, this kind of semiconductor lasers is highly promising because it leads to the appearance of ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi. It should be mentioned that the research is based on previous work.
According to the research, a quantum cascade laser system produces an infrared frequency comb that can be used for generating terahertz frequencies, wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum enabling to transmit data information hundreds of times faster than it is possible to do today using modern wireless platforms.
Moreover, the team discovered that this type of laser systems emits such frequency combs that can be easily applied as integrated transmitters or receivers to efficiently and accurately encode the necessary information. Finally, the researchers were able to find a way to extract and transmit wireless signals from frequency combs produced by the laser system.
Compared to traditional laser systems or laser modules, which allow producing only a single frequency of a laser beam, laser frequency combs create multiple frequencies at one time, evenly located to look similar to the comb teeth. In 2018, it was established that the various frequencies of light from laser beam beat together to produce microwave radiation inside the laser system.
Herewith, the laser system light provokes electrons to vibrate at microwave frequencies, which belong to the communication spectrum. Consequently, it is necessary to encode the required information in the microwave signals and then remove that data from the device, after that the semiconductor laser can be used for Wi-Fi.
The semiconductor laser system includes a dipole antenna for transmitting microwave signals, which were later modulated by the researchers to encode data on the microwave radiation produced by the beating light from the laser beam. Then the microwave signals are radiated out from the laser system with the help of the antenna, and they are received by a horn antenna, filtered and processed by a computer.
The research also allows controlling remotely the semiconductor laser by microwave signals from another device. Herewith, this development remains very promising for wireless communication that still takes a long time while fiber lasers demonstrate great success.
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