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Breaking the Wall to Light-Emitting Silicon

Falling Walls Foundation | Erik Bakkers, Elham Fadaly

How a new Technology is changing the Future of Data

The ever-increasing amount of data raises an important question: How can information be transmitted at high speed yet at low cost? The current technology, based on copper wires, is reaching its ceiling due to the danger of overheating caused by electrical resistance. New techniques have tried to solve this problem by using light particles, but the materials used for this method are rare and costly. Elham Fadaly is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Applied Physics and Erik Bakkers is an award-winning Professor of Advanced Nanomaterials and Devices at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Along with an international team, they have made a revolutionary breakthrough by creating a silicon-based material that proved to be capable of emitting light efficiently and can thus be used for laser devices and high-speed communication. At Falling Walls, Elham and Erik will focus on how changing the molecular structure of silicon allows data to be transferred through light, at the speed of light and without generating heat.


Erik Bakkers and Elham Fadaly are the Breakthroughs of the Year 2021 in the Physical Sciences category.

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Erik Bakkers

Eindhoven University of Technology

After obtaining his PhD at the University of Utrecht, Erik Bakkers started working at Philips Research in Eindhoven in 2000. In 2010, Erik joined the Technical University of Eindhoven as well as Delft Technical University. His group has three main focus areas all based on semiconducting nanowires. The first area is on developing new quantum materials which should enable to find topological states. The second area is on light emission from silicon. By changing the crystalline properties of silicon, it can be made to emit light. The third area is the application of nanowires in solar cells.

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Mon | Nov 08, 2021 | 08.45 - 18.00 Europe/Berlin Time

Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Symposium for Breakthroughs in Physical Sciences

Elham Fadaly

Eindhoven University of Technology

Elham Fadaly is currently a guest researcher at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. She obtained her Ph.D. in Applied Physics with Cum Laude from the same university in April 2021. Her doctoral research focused on the epitaxy of hexagonal silicon-germanium alloys for the realization of direct band gap emission for optoelectronic applications. Fadaly holds a joint M.Sc. degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from KU Leuven, Belgium, and Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. She obtained her B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering from the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

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About the Venue
Radialsystem Berlin
Holzmarktstraße 33
Berlin, 10243 Germany
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