Optoelectronics systems in the future could benefit from the creation of light-based switches which work in the same way as a conventional transistor.
Professor Tobias Kippenberg, who is a tenure track assistant professor at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and a team leader at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, headed up the group at the EPFL Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements.
Their research has yielded a means of using lasers within optoelectronics systems to operate switches similar to transistors; a strong beam is used to turn on or off a secondary, output stream of light.
Light entering the optical microresonator is trapped within a glass structure which guides it into a circular path while vibrating at a frequency 10,000 times that of a wine glass.
Radiation pressure of light entering the device can deform its interior cavity, causing the light to become coupled with the vibrations in a way that can be controlled using a secondary beam.