Home Technology Laser tweezers build super-fast computers more easily

Laser tweezers build super-fast computers more easily


Sydney : Building super-fast computers has just become easier, thanks to a breakthrough that lets researchers grab hold of tiny components and probe their inner structure using only a beam of light.

The discovery takes researchers a step closer to utilising semi-conductor nano-wires that will be key components of future integrated devices and circuits.

A team led by Peter Reece, from University of New South Wales (UNSW) School of Physics and colleagues from Australian National University, said such tiny objects can not only be held by ‘optical tweezers’, but simultaneously studied in detail using a second laser beam.

“Optical tweezers work by focussing very intense laser beams that can impart forces onto very small objects and let you physically push them around,” says Reece, a postdoctoral research fellow at UNSW.

“The novel part of our work is to look at the light emitted from the nano-wire when it is excited with the second laser beam as the diagnostic tool; it can tell us so much more about the nature and structure of the material. No-one’s done this before.”

“We hope we can harness the ‘forces of light’ to build and test prototype nano-scale optical devices which may one day power your personal computer,” Reece said.

These findings were published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.