Light and glass could greatly enhance computer processing speeds and power beyond CRAM

11/08/2014 - 00:00

Photo by Monika Bielskyte
By Amy Sutton -

New research published today in the journal Nature Communications, has demonstrated how glass can be manipulated to create a material that will allow computers to transfer information using light. This development could significantly increase computer processing speeds and power in the future.

The research by the University of Surrey, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the University of Southampton, has found it is possible to change the electronic properties of amorphous chalcogenides, a glass material integral to data technologies such as CDs and DVDs. By using a technique called ion doping, the team of researchers have discovered a material that could use light to bring together different computing functions into one component, leading to all-optical systems.


Ref:  N-type chalcogenides by ion implantation | Mark A. Hughes,

Yanina Fedorenko,

Behrad Gholipour,

Jin Yao,

Tae-Hoon Lee,

Russell M. Gwilliam,

Kevin P. Homewood,

Steven Hinder,

Daniel W. Hewak,

Stephen R. ElliottRichard J. Curry |  Nature Communications 5, Article number: 5346 doi:10.1038/ncomms6346