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Teaching silicon new tricks

Arguably the most important element for the electronics industry, silicon is now being given a new lease of life in the world of photonics.

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Figure 1: Two-photon absorption generates free carriers that in turn cause a significant amount of absorption.
Figure 2: Owing to the rapid increase in transistor count, in accordance with Moore's Law, the power density on a silicon chip has already exceeded 100 W cm−2.
Figure 3: A silicon image amplifier as described in ref. 2.


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The author would like to thank DARPA for supporting his work on silicon photonics. He is also indebted to Sasan Fathpour and Prakash Koonath for their review of the manuscript.

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Jalali, B. Teaching silicon new tricks. Nature Photon 1, 193–195 (2007).

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