Research NewsOptoelectronics

Storing Light by Surfing on Silicon

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Science  30 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5317, pp. 1339
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5317.1339

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Light is a great way to transmit information, but its speedy photons are difficult to slow down when signals must be delayed, for example, to be stored for brief times in optoelectronic circuits. Now a report in the 26 May Physical Review Letters describes a clever solution: translating photons into pairs of electric charges that slowly "surf" on a sound wave across a semiconductor chip until they recombine in a pulse of light.