Feeds

Nanotech researchers see the light

Through fibres smaller than lambda

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Researchers in the Mazur group at Harvard have found a way to make nanofibres only 50nm thick; thinner than the wavelengths of light they carry.

Made from silica, the nanofibres transmit the light by acting as a guide for it to flow around, rather than through; and because they can be made smooth and of uniform diameter, the light remains coherent as it travels.

This property allows the fibres to transmit more information using less space, which means the material will be useful in building sensors, medical products nanoscale lasers and communications tools.

The fact that light can now be sent down such a small path will make a real impact on sensor design, according to the research team, as the size of each detecting point is a limiting factor in how sensitive a device can be. As these fibres are so tiny, more can be bundled together. This would mean faster and more accurate detection and identification of substances.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requested increased funding for research like this. Far from raising concerns about grey goo, it argues that discoveries in the field of nano-biotech and nan-technology will: “enable development of revolutionary technologies that contribute to improvements in health, advance agriculture, conserve materials and energy and sustain the environment”.

The team, led by Eric Mazur and Limin Tong first reported their findings in Nature. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
No biggie: EMC's XtremIO firmware upgrade 'will wipe data'
But it'll have no impact and will be seamless, we're told
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.