News of the WeekMaterials Science

Silicon Lights the Way to Faster Data Flow

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Science  24 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5534, pp. 1413-1414
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5534.1413a

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Higher speed optical connections can speed the flow of information between chips and other computer components, but the best light-emitting semiconductors are hard to integrate with silicon, and the ideal material for the job--silicon itself--has been a poor light emitter. Now in this week's issue of Nature, physicists report a 100-fold boost in the efficiency of silicon-based light-emitting diodes using a trick for making solar cells.