Chipping in

 
Published: Saturday 30 September 1995

While the last few years has seen a revolution in optoelectronks, there have been several stumbling blocks too. One such obstacle is the integration of optical components with silicon microchips. But scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, may have come up with a solution finally (Science, Vol 268).

The idea is to hook up micro-scopic lasers directly onto the chips. This is achieved by a process called "fludic self assembly", where the lasers are mixed with ethanol and swished over silicon wafer on which matching shapes have been carved. The lasers fit into the holes and one gets a potential optoelectronk chip.

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