VCSELs smaller than 0.04 mm² for ultra-fast and encrypted networks

February 13, 2018 at 11:57

During the continuous quest for maximizing the protection of data, substantial research has been performed in the domain of lasers and optical chaos. Recently B-PHOT researchers demonstrated that using mechanical strain, polarization chaos could be triggered in commercial VCSELs. Their article with results on “Strain induced polarization chaos in a solitary VCSEL” was published in Scientific Reports.

Privacy and security of data communication is a topic that impacts everyone more often than we imagine. From simple mobile payments between friends to safeguarding Intellectual Property in business environments. During the continuous quest for maximizing the protection of data, substantial research has been performed in the domain of lasers and optical chaos.

Optical chaos might be the cornerstone of the next generation of secure communication networks and ultrafast random bit generator for cryptographic applications. VCSELs (Vertical-Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers) can be integrated on single chip of less than 0.04 mm2. Imagine about 5000 of those VCSELs fitting onto only one Eurocent coin.

VUB B-Phot researchers reported chaotic polarization fluctuations generated in an isolated vertical-cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) integrated on a single-chip a few years ago. It was shown that these fluctuations could be used to generate random bits at high-speed, up to 100 Gbps! 

Recently, VUB B-PHOT teamed up with researchers from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, to find a solution to overcome the limited availability of the devices. In their latest work, they demonstrate that using mechanical strain – i.e. by bending the laser structure – polarization chaos could be triggered in commercial VCSELs. The simplicity of the proposed approach paves the way to the wide-spread use of solitary VCSELs for chaos-based applications.

The full version of the article “Strain induced polarization chaos in a solitary VCSEL” has been published in Scientific Reports  and is freely available online at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-14436-3

   

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