Optical chips harness the power of rogue waves

A nano-scale optical chip developed by KAUST researchers could have widespread applications in natural hazard prediction and telecommunication networks.

© 2015 KAUST

A microchip designed to generate and control rogue waves of light on the nano-scale has many potential applications.An optical chip to create and harness the power of nanoscale rogue waves of light could ultimately lead to better prediction systems for weather events and natural disasters by improving researchers’ understanding of the mechanisms that underpin chaotic wave events. 

Natural catastrophic events are inherently unpredictable, stemming from high-energy, chaotic systems that are difficult to understand or emulate. Andrea Fratalocchi, and his team from KAUST, in collaboration with researchers at universities in the UK and the Netherlands, are inspired by such random and complex phenomena for new technologies.

“We were collaborating to build new optical chaotic resonators for enhanced energy storage,” says Fratalocchi from KAUST’s Division of Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering. “Whilst performing theory on these structures, we saw huge photonic waves appear in our simulations. We had no idea where these fascinating structures came from, and so we decided to investigate further.” 

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