RF and Optical Device Integration
There are some things that are obvious to say but are still worth saying and the same principle applies to technical writing; however much the reader knows and understands, every story has to have a starting point. That starting point is often some combination of material and manufacturing innovation that allows us to do something different or to improve the efficiency of something that we already do. The invention of the carbon microphone in the 1870’s provided the basis for the telephone networks that we still use every day. The invention of optical fibre in the 1970’s ushered in a new era of super-fast networks that have changed the way that we work, rest and play.
A key component in optical networks is the laser diode, patented by Robert Hall of General Electric in 1962. Laser diodes are often used with Fabry Perot resonant cavities first produced in 1899 by Jean Baptiste Alfred Perot and Charles Fabry. The emission wavelength of laser diodes is determined by the composition of the light emitting semiconductor material. The choice of material is based on work done by Lawrence Bragg and his Dad in 1913. Bragg gratings are used as end reflectors in Fabry- Perot Cavities to produce coherent light allowing higher order complex modulation to be used in fibre and free space optical networks.
These devices, based on work done in a distant past, determine the economics of modern telecommunication networks.
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