First laser radio transmitter lays ground for super fast Wi-Fi breakthrough


A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates how a laser that can emit microwaves wirelessly, modulate them and receive external radio frequency signals could lead to new types of hybrid electronic-photonic devices to pave the way for ‘ultra-high-speed’ wifi.

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences devised a method to extract and transmit wireless signals from laser frequency combs, emitting multiple, evenly spaced frequencies simultaneously.

The researchers used the semiconductor laser to wireless transmit a recording of Dean Martin’s “Volare”, marking the first time a laser has been used as a radio frequency transmitter.

To be useful for Wi-Fi applications, useful information needs to be inserted into the microwave signals and extracted from the device.