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June 27, 2019

Photonic switch controls light passing through optical fibers faster

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently than ever. The photonic switch is manufactured using a technique called photolithography in which each "light switch" structure is etched into a silicon wafer. Each light-gray square on the wafer contains 6,400 of these switches.

The research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (grants IIP 18-27633 and EEC 08-12072). Learn more in the NSF News From the Field story Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications. (Date image taken: March 4, 2019; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: June 27, 2019)

Credit: Kyungmok Kwon

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