When computer chips work with ever shorter signals and time intervals, at some point they come up against physical limits. The quantum-mechanical processes that enable the generation of electric current in a semiconductor material take a certain amount of time. This puts a limit to the speed of signal generation and signal transmission.
TU Wien (Vienna), TU Graz and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching have now been able to explore these limits: The speed can definitely not be increased beyond one petahertz (one million gigahertz), even if the material is excited in an optimal way with laser pulses. This result has now been published in the scientific journal "Nature Communications".
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801110.
ESQ has received funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF).