Intelligent Machines

Light Twister

The data-carrying light waves in optical fibers have either horizontal or vertical polarities. Both types of waves are easily processed in today’s millimeter-scale photonic devices, but polarization differences may lead to signal loss in future micrometer-scale devices on chips. This submicrometer structure from MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics can be etched into silicon. Light enters a waveguide and is split into horizontal and vertical components. Vertical beams are rotated to horizontal for processing and later recombined.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.