“The future of electronics lies in optical control of electron flows,” according to an article in Nature. Now physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) have created a light source that moves that control much closer. True optical control of electron flows would enable data processing operations to be performed “some 100,000 times faster than is feasible with current techniques,” according to phys.org.
For 20 years “commercial titanium: sapphire” lasers have dominated laboratories. But LAP is following a trend into what’s called disc laser systems, which are more powerful. LAP’s “Ytterbium:Yttrium-Aluminium-Garnet” laser produces energy with a pulse power that’s “1.5 orders of magnitude greater than that attainable with commercial titanium:sapphire lasers.”