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Ultrafast communications possible with new graphene oxide thin film

Editorial
article image The micrometre-thin film has record-breaking optical nonlinearity.

RESEARCHERS from Swinburne University have developed a high-quality continuous graphene oxide thin film which could be used for ultrafast communications.

The micrometre-thin film has record-breaking optical nonlinearity, which makes it suited for high performing integrated photonic devices, which can be used in future applications in all-optical communications, biomedicine and photonic computing.

The research at Swinburne's Centre for Micro-Photonics was led by Associate Professor Baohua Jia.

According to Professor Jia, such a laser patternable highly nonlinear thin film has not been achieved by any other material. Graphene is transparent and also electrically conducive.

The researchers developed a new platform which allowed them to fabricate each optical component with the desired nonlinearity, a much more effective approach compared to current methods which require fabricating each component individually then integrating them together.

To create the thin film the researchers spin coated graphene oxide solution to a glass surface.

Using a laser as a pen they created microstructures on the graphene oxide film to tune the nonlinearity of the material.

Current manufacturing methods in semiconductor labs require expensive cleanrooms to fabricate photonic chips. The fabrication and laser writing of this photonic material is simple and low cost.

“Using this new method, we have demonstrated the possibility of manufacturing a scalable and cheap material,” Professor Jia said.

The researchers are now working to fabricate a functional device.

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