Light-Emitting Silicon: Demonstration of Efficient Light Emission from a new alloy of hexagonal silicon and germanium to obtain photonic chips, which can revolutionize computing.
Silicon is a powerful material pervading our everyday lives. Silicon-based microchips are the basis of nearly every electronic device used in our houses, cars, smart gadgets, and even in the human body. These microchips are the cornerstone for computers, phones, surfing the Internet at any time, regulating the elderly heart beating, and other life-matter devices. Despite being cheap, with superior electronic properties and mature processing technology, silicon has been widely known as optically handicapped. It is an extremely inefficient light emitter, hindering it from being employed in laser devices which is the basis of fast computing and high-speed communications. In this project, we forced the silicon-alloy atoms to order in a different structure, namely, hexagonal which proved to be capable of emitting light efficiently and having excellent optoelectronic properties, qualifying light-emitting silicon to be an ideal material for revolutionizing computing speed and performance in the future.