The switch is based on the voltage-induced displacement of one or more silver atoms in the narrow gap between a silver and a platinum plate.
Researchers working under Juerg Leuthold, Professor of Photonics and Communications at ETH Zurich, have created the world’s smallest integrated optical switch. Applying a small voltage causes an atom to relocate, turning the switch on or off. ETH Professor Mathieu Luisier, who participated in this study, simulated the system using Piz Daint Supercomputer. The component operates at the level of individual atoms. The team’s latest development was recently presented in the journal Nano Letters.