Lighthearted Transistor: Electronic workhorse moonlights as laser | Science News

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Lighthearted Transistor: Electronic workhorse moonlights as laser

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10:21am, November 17, 2004

Transistors have long served as the building blocks of microelectronics. More recently, microchip lasers have been emerging as cornerstones of light-based circuitry, or photonics. Now, engineers have melded the two types of components into one miniature device that both amplifies electric current and emits a narrow beam of single-wavelength light.

"It's simultaneously a transistor and a laser. It's a transistor laser," says co-developer Nick Holonyak Jr. of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He previously contributed to the invention of various optoelectronics gadgets, including the fir

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