Most information is currently transported by electrical charge (electrons) and by light (photons). Phonons are the quanta of lattice vibrations with frequencies covering a wide range up to tens of THz and provide coupling to the surrounding environment. In PHENOMEN the core of the research will be focused on phonon-based signal processing to enable on-chip synchronisation and transfer information carried between optical channels by phonons.
PHENOMEN is an ambitious project that could serve as a future scalable platform for, e.g., hybrid information processing with phonons. To achieve it, PHENOMEN proposes to build the first practical optically-driven phonon sources and detectors including the engineering of phonon lasers to deliver coherent phonons to the rest of the chip pumped by a continuous wave optical source.
While the research is at an early stage the results are already coming – the consortium recently published a novel approach to security in communications "Nonlinear dynamics and chaos in an optomechanical beam”. These results are very encouraging, since they were obtained using a low-cost technology with the potential for mass-production. At the same time, this technology is very likely to be competitive in terms of power efficiency, information-transfer speed, versatility and security.
The research is being carried out within FET Open and it brings together interdisciplinary scientific and technology oriented partners in an early-stage research towards the development of a radically new technology. For more information on the project's consortium, objectives and achievements, please check PHENOMEN website.