MIT researchers developed a new system, based on ferroelectric materials and graphene, that uses plasmons wave control to interconnect between electronic devices and light wave devices (such as fiber optics and photonic chips). Current such interconnectors are relatively slow and are often a bottleneck in those systems.
The new hybrid-material device can control surface plasmons wave (oscillations of electrons confined at interfaces between materials). The waves operate at terahertz frequencies in this new device, which is considered ideal for next-gen computing devices.
The researchers build a prototype device - a simply, switchable plasmonic waveguide. They used lithium niobate for the ferroelectric layer, but there are many other alternative that needs to be studied.