Feeds

Graphene photocells could mean hyper-speed internet

Not merely broadband but grossly-obese-band now possible

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The latest study of miracle material graphene shows it could be used to provide a much higher speed internet.

Yet another application for the boffin collective's research darling could be high-speed optical communications, which hadn't seemed like a practical application up to now because graphene absorbs so little light, just around 3 per cent.

But now scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Cambridge, including pioneers in the field of graphene research, have come up with a way to improve the substance's capture and conversion of light by sticking two closely-spaced metallic wires on top of it, resulting in an elementary solar cell.

"Such graphene devices can be incredibly fast, tens and potentially hundreds of times faster than communication rates in the fastest internet cables. This is due to the unique nature of electrons in graphene, their high mobility and velocity," the research said.

Since Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov discovered graphene at the University of Manchester in 2004, its possibilities as a replacement for silicon, and just about everything else you need to build technology, have spawned thousands of scientific research papers and even a couple of working prototypes. Samsung, in partnership with Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, has already demonstrated a 25-inch flexible touchscreen using graphene and IBM have shown off a high-speed switching circuit based on graphene.

The material is touted as the thing to power the 21st century because its the strongest stuff ever measured, the thinnest and mightily conductive, as well as being impermeable and pretty darn flexible.

Speaking about this study, Novoselov said: "The technology of graphene production matures day-by-day, which has an immediate impact both on the type of exciting physics which we find in the material and on the feasibility and the range of possible applications."

"Many leading electronics companies consider graphene for the next generation of devices. This work certainly boosts graphene's chances even further," he added.

Geim and Novoselov won the Nobel Prize in Physics last year for their work with graphene. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?