Photo credit: Argonne National Laboratory/Flickr
Graphene, the strongest material on the planet, is set to be used for high-speed Internet and optical communications following the work of UK-based scientists to develop its capabilities.
The material, a form of carbon just one atom thick but 100 times stronger than steel, was discovered in 2004 and was labelled a 'wonder material'.
Initially, however, problems surrounded its ability to absorb light which made it impractical for optical communications. Whereas in its early years it could only absorb 3% of visible light, this has now increased by 20 times.
This improvement is down to the work of scientists plying their trade at Cambridge and Manchester universities. Last year the team of scientists won the 2010 Nobel Prize for physics as a result of the advances they made to the material.
The developments have now opened up possibilities for faster electronic components, such as the receivers used in fibre optic data connections. This means Internet and communication speeds could increase.
This is good news for all those people who have moved, or are planning on moving, into the cloud – high-speed Internet is a key factor in utilising the cloud and this news concerning improvements to the capabilities of graphene will enable even greater speeds for Internet connection. This, in turn, will see improved efficiency for all organisations who are storing, editing and accessing data and files stored in the cloud.
Konstantin Novoselov, a Russian-born scientist who along with Andre Geim won the 2010 Nobel Prize for physics for research work on graphene, said: “Many leading electronics companies consider graphene for the next generation of devices. This work certainly boosts graphene's chances even further.”