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A novel method to prevent light from reflecting back in optical devices could allow advancements in several scientific fields, including optical communications, laser systems and electronics, according to a team of Penn State electrical engineers. Led by Xingjie Ni, assistant professor of electrical engineering, the researchers published their work in a recent issue of Light: Science & Applications.

“In communications, for example, if you send a signal out, you don’t want it coming back to the detector on your side,” Ni said. “Laser systems are similar. When the laser sends light out, it doesn’t want that light coming back because that will disturb or even damage the system.”

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