Site icon Wonderful Engineering

Scientists Figure Out A Way To Use Lasers To Increase WiFi Speeds

Wi-Fi is what keeps us going these days, right? However, there are times when the Wi-Fi isn’t working no matter what you do. You might be trying to stream the latest episode of Game of Thrones, or you might have to send an email, but the Internet won’t let you do it. Such times can be quite trying and frustrating. However, the latest breakthrough in semiconductor lasers can change all of that by introducing the age of ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi without any lag.

A team of researchers at the Harvard John. A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has demonstrated a laser capable of emitting microwaves wirelessly, modulating them, and even receiving external frequency signals. The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To put it simply, the team of researchers from Harvard has come up with means of wirelessly transmitting radio frequency by making use of a semiconductor laser. Conventional lasers are only capable of emitting a single frequency of light. On the other hand, these lasers are capable of emitting microwaves. For those who are not aware, a Wi-Fi network utilizes radio waves for transmitting information across a network. By incorporating lasers into this current Wi-Fi system, the speed will be increasing exponentially, and it is this fact that has the researchers excited.

Federico Capasso, the Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering and senior author of the study, said, ‘The research opens the door to new types of hybrid electronic-photonic devices and is the first step toward ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi.’

This amazing development that has been made by the researchers was based on work previously done at Capasso Lab at Harvard. About two years ago, Harvard researchers discovered that is is possible to make use of an infrared frequency comb in lasers for the generation of terahertz wavelengths that are capable of moving data at speeds that are about hundreds of times faster than the speed that Internet providers offer.

Piccardo said, ‘This all-in-one, integrated device, holds great promise for wireless communication. While the dream of terahertz wireless communication is still a ways away, this research provides a clear roadmap showing how to get there.’