Internet will be ultra-fast thanks to graphene

The properties of graphene, a one-atom-thick nanomaterial, could be exploited to achieve an ultra-fast Internet, according to research carried out jointly by the University of Cambridge and Manchester in which the Russian scientists Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. Graphene is considered the finest material in the world and it was discovered at the University of Manchester in 2004, although in 1930 this material was already being discussed.

Take advantage of the speed of light

According to the work published in the Nature Communications magazine, “Scientists had already shown that by placing two metal cables at a short distance on the graphene and radiating light on this structure, electrical energy was generated. It was a simple device that worked like an elementary photovoltaic cell ”.

One of the biggest obstacles that scientists encountered when putting this mechanism into practice is that its efficiency was very low. It all comes from the fact that graphene is the finest material in the world, its light absorption capacity is approximately 3%. The rest of the light passes through it so it is not able to take advantage of it to generate electricity.

However, Nobel Prize winners Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov of the University of Manchester managed to solve the problem by combining a few metallic structures placed in a specific way on the graphene. “Thanks to the combination with these metallic nanostructures, graphene was able to take advantage of up to twenty times more light without sacrificing its speed at all,” they point out in the research.

Incredible communication speed

The most important thing about this discovery by Russian scientists is that its practical application could mean an incredible speed of communication in the internet cables. Thanks to the unique and singular nature of graphene electrons and their high mobility capacity, the communication speed that could be achieved would be tens and, potentially, hundreds of times higher than the fastest cables that exist today.

“Graphene technology is maturing day by day, which has a direct impact on both the kind of interesting physics that we find in this material, as well as the feasibility and range of possible applications,” explains Novoselov.

Both experts assure that they have been pleasantly surprised, since they expected improve the eficiency of devices that use graphene, but the advances were not expected to be so spectacular. According to Andrea Ferrari, professor of the engineering department at the University of Cambridge and director of the collaborating team, the results obtained after the investigation demonstrate the great potential of graphene in the fields of optical electronics and photonics, being applicable in devices such as photodetectors or Solar cells.

We would like to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this incredible material

Internet will be ultra-fast thanks to graphene