The Metamorphosis of the Transistor into a Laser

Milton Feng, Nick Holonyak

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Transistor laser promises to become a high-speed-combination coherent-optical signal and coherent-electrical signal integrated circuit element. It has the potential to make possible much faster computers and electronics. Unlike ordinary transistors, the transistor laser is a three-port device with an electrical input and electrical output, plus it has a coherent optical output. The multi-port capability of the transistor laser makes it necessary in conventional circuit analysis and design to reformulate Kirchhoff's law, taking into account energy conservation and not simply current and charge. The transistor laser, its base region an active high-gain semiconductor medium admitting to ultra-small electrical and (cavity) optical size compression, may well become a combination ultimate transistor-laser. It is unique as a transistor and as a laser. The transistor laser acts also as an internal optical-signal detector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationOptics and Photonics News
StatePublished - Mar 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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