From insulator to conductor in a flash

In recent decades, computers have become faster and hard disks and storage chips have reached enormous capacities. But this trend cannot continue forever. Physical limits are preventing silicon-based computer technology from attaining additional speed gains. Researchers are optimistic that the next era of technological advancements will start with the development of novel information-processing materials and technologies that combine electrical circuits with optical ones. Using short laser pulses, a research team led by Misha Ivanov of the Max Born Institute in Berlin, together with scientists from the Russian Quantum Center in Moscow, has shed light on the extremely rapid processes taking place within these novel materials. Their results appear in Nature Photonics.
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