In present telecommunication networks, information transfer relies on the interplay of optical and electrical signals. Data are communicated optically but processed electronically. Methods to maintain the propagating signals solely at the optical level must be developed to overcome the transmission capacities and speed limits imposed by the electronic components. We have demonstrated that molecular switches can be used to gate optical signals in response to optical signals. We have realized a simple optical network consisting of three light sources, one cell containing a solution of three fluorescent molecules, one cell containing a solution of a three-state molecular switch and a detector. The light emitted by the three fluorophores is absorbed by the three states of the molecular switch. Using this simple operating principle, we have shown that multichannel digital transmission can be implemented on an ensemble of communicating molecules relying exclusively on the interplay of optical inputs and optical outputs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry