Integrated Photonics Makes Our Electronics More Efficient

September 23, 2020

Photonic packaging from the Cardenas lab.

As electricity travels in wires it generates heat and leads to losses in power. Can you imagine a day where cell phones, laptops, and other electronics don’t heat up? We, in the Cardenas Lab, are working on a technology that will make this dream a reality.

Integrated photonics is a field where we replace electricity with light from lasers to do our day to day work. This will impact our use of communications, internet, sensing, and more! In photonics, we have nanometer-sized waveguides made of glass (rather than the wires used in electronics). The waveguides are used for transmission, but because they are so small it is very difficult to align them to optical fibers (rather than the electrical cables used in electronics). With our technology, we can solder an optical fiber to a chip using a powerful laser. The laser will melt the fiber and the glass together and solder them in place.