Germanium laser was demonstrated by MIT

The first laser built from germanium that can emit wavelengths of light useful for optical communications has been demonstrated by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It's also the first germanium laser to operate at room temperature.

Germanium, unlike materials typically used in lasers, is easy to incorporate into existing processes for manufacturing silicon chips – a trait these researchers believe could prove an important step toward computers that move date and perform calculations using light instead of electricity. More fundamentally, the researchers have shown that, contrary to prior belief, a class of materials called indirect-band-gap semiconductors can yield practical lasers.

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