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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 9:10 EDT

Latest Vienna University of Technology Stories

Schematic of the detector: the metamaterial couples the incident light to the semiconductor, and then it can be converted into an electric signal
2014-03-30 06:26:20

Florian Aigner, Vienna University of Technology A new, extremely thin kind of light detector was created at Vienna University of Technology. Two very different technologies were combined for the first time: metamaterials and quantum cascade structures. Subtle interactions of electrons and light make them so valuable for technology: ultra-thin systems of semiconductor layers can turn electrical voltage into light. But they can also be used the other way around and serve as light...

Atomically Thin Solar Cells
2014-03-10 10:44:34

Vienna University of Technology It does not get any thinner than this: The novel material graphene consists of only one atomic layer of carbon atoms and exhibits very special electronic properties. As it turns out, there are other materials too, which can open up intriguing new technological possibilities if they are arranged in just one or very few atomic layers. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology have now succeeded for the first time in creating a diode made of tungsten...

Single-Atom Light Switch
2013-11-06 10:32:04

Vienna University of Technology With just a single atom, light can be switched between two fiber optic cables at the Vienna University of Technology. Such a switch enables quantum phenomena to be used for information and communication technology. Fiber optic cables are turned in to a quantum lab: scientists are trying to build optical switches at the smallest possible scale in order to manipulate light. At the Vienna University of Technology, this can now be done using a single atom....

World’s Most Powerful Terahertz Quantum Cascade Laser Developed
2013-10-30 10:39:08

Vienna University of Technology Whether it is diagnostic imaging, analysis of unknown substances or ultrafast communication – terahertz radiation sources are becoming more and more important. At the Vienna University of Technology, an important breakthrough has been achieved. Terahertz waves are invisible, but incredibly useful; they can penetrate many materials which are opaque to visible light and they are perfect for detecting a variety of molecules. Terahertz radiation can be...

Caged Atoms Used To Create Electricity
2013-09-23 08:49:43

Vienna University of Technology At the Vienna University of Technology, a new class of thermoelectric materials has been discovered; Due to a surprising physical effect they can be used to create electricity more efficiently A lot of energy is wasted when machines turn hot, unnecessarily heating up their environment. Some of this thermal energy could be harvested using thermoelectric materials; they create electric current when they are used to bridge hot and cold objects. At the Vienna...

Graphene Photodetector Combined With Computer Chip
2013-09-16 13:26:09

Vienna University of Technology The novel material graphene and its technological applications are studied at the Vienna University of Technology. Now scientists have succeeded in combining graphene light detectors with semiconductor chips. Today, most information is transmitted by light – for example in optical fibers. Computer chips, however, work electronically. Somewhere between the optical data highway and the electronic chips, photons have to be converted into electrons using...

Physics That Connect The Classical Temperature To The Quantum World
2013-09-09 12:00:32

Vienna University of Technology How does a classical temperature form in the quantum world? An experiment at the Vienna University of Technology has directly observed the emergence and the spreading of a temperature in a quantum system. Remarkably, the quantum properties are lost, even though the quantum system is completely isolated and not connected to the outside world. The experimental results are being published in this week’s issue of “Nature Physics”. Quantum and Classical...

Removing the “Random” Out Of A Random Laser
2013-07-15 14:43:30

Vienna University of Technology Random Lasers are tiny structures emitting light irregularly into different directions. Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have now shown that these exotic light sources can be accurately controlled. The light they emit is as unique as a fingerprint: random lasers are tiny devices with a light emission pattern governed by random scattering of light. Understanding the underlying details of random lasing action has only been achieved...

Heat Radiation Of Small Objects Is Beyond Planck's Equations
2013-07-11 11:20:03

Vienna University of Technology Objects that are smaller than the wavelength of thermal radiation cannot radiate heat efficiently. A generalized theory of thermal radiation has now been experimentally confirmed at the level of a single object at the Vienna University of Technology. All the objects around us emit thermal radiation. Usually, this radiation can be described very accurately using Planck's law. If, however, the radiating object is smaller than the thermal wavelength, it...

Light Transistor Developed By TU Vienna
2013-07-08 10:08:30

Vienna University of Technology TU Vienna has managed to turn the oscillation direction of beams of light -- simply by applying an electrical current to a special material. This way, a transistor can be built that functions with light instead of electrical current. Light can oscillate in different directions, as we can see in the 3D cinema: Each lens of the glasses only allows light of a particular oscillation direction to pass through. However, changing the polarization direction of...