According to a new study, Graphene, also known as miracle material in telecommunications, can speed up the internet at least hundred times.
In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers from the Centre for Graphene Science at the Universities of Bath and Exeter have demonstrated very short optical response rates using graphene which may result in a revolution in telecommunications.
Graphene is called miracle material due to its strength, lightness, flexibility, conductivity and low cost. It is only one atom thick but strong to the extent that it would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil to break through a single sheet.
Optoelectronic devices are used to transmit information in the form of light. The optical switches process signals and convert them into a series of light pulses. Usually optical switches respond at rate of a few picoseconds, that is, around a trillionth of a second. But with graphene, the response rate is around one hundred femtoseconds, that is, nearly a hundred times quicker than current materials.
Researcher Dr Enrico Da Como said, “We’ve seen an ultrafast optical response rate, using ‘few-layer graphene’, which has exciting applications for the development of high speed optoelectronic components based on graphene,”. He also said, “This fast response is in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, where many applications in telecommunications, security and also medicine are currently developing and affecting our society”.
This research may lead to the development of quantum cascade lasers based on graphene in future. Quantum cascade laser is a semiconductor laser used in pollution monitoring, security and spectroscopy. Few-layer graphene may emerge as a unique platform for this interesting application.