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In this case, nanophotonics involves silicon chips that use light instead of, or in addition to, the types of traditional electrical signals common to semiconductor design. Companies like IBM have pioneered advancements in a chip that uses photodetectors and emitted light to send signals in an integrated circuit environment.
The nanophotonics concept further contributes to a more general category of nanotechnology that is revolutionizing how some of the tiniest projects are treated by the research and development (R&D) departments of various fields.
While nanotechnology has quite a bit of promise, concerns about the uses of nanoscale technologies include the potential rearrangement or disturbance of molecular structures and the effect of nanoscale materials on larger scale environments.