Researchers have found a layer of graphene on some internet switches increases the speed of the internet substantially.
In the Physical Review Letters, researchers from the Centre for Graphene Science at the Universities of Bath and Exeter added a one-atom thick layer of graphene to optical switches used in optoelectronic devices such as optical fibres, the backbone of the internet.
Whereas an ordinary optical switch responds at rate of a few picoseconds – around a trillionth of a second—the layer of graphene cut speeds to one hundred femtoseconds – nearly a hundred times quicker than current materials.
“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,” said lead researcher Dr Enrico Da Como.
“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.”
Graphene is showing promise in a number of fields due to its remarkable properties due to its strength, lightness, flexibility, conductivity and low cost.
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