A Novel Photolattice with Extraordinary Properties

A device from Sandia emits infrared radiation at a fixed wavelength and with a conversion efficiency that appears to defy Planck's law

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15 October 2003--A microscopic device built by researchers at Sandia National Laboratory (Albuquerque, N.M.) could lead to better photovoltaic cells, more efficient light bulbs, and the rewriting of basic physics texts.

Researchers Shawn Lin and James Fleming built a photonic lattice that emits infrared radiation only at a specific wavelength. The lattice is a type of photonic band gap crystal, in which a regular structure at the scale of microns or nanometers allows light to exist only at specific wavelengths. Because such crystals can redirect light in any direction with almost no loss, they are being eyed as material for the cladding of hollow optical fibers for very high-bandwidth communications or as devices to tune lasers and light-emitting diodes to hard-to-reach wavelengths.

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The Transistor of 2047: Expert Predictions

What will the device be like on its 100th anniversary?

4 min read
Six men and a woman smiling.

The luminaries who dared predict the future of the transistor for IEEE Spectrum include: [clockwise from left] Gabriel Loh, Sri Samavedam, Sayeef Salahuddin, Richard Schultz, Suman Datta, Tsu-Jae King Liu, and H.-S. Philip Wong.


The 100th anniversary of the invention of the transistor will happen in 2047. What will transistors be like then? Will they even be the critical computing element they are today? IEEE Spectrum asked experts from around the world for their predictions.

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