Researchers at the universities of Bath and Exeter have demonstrated for the first time incredibly short optical response rates using graphene, which could lead to a new generation of telecommunications technologies and much faster Internet speeds.
Optical switches currently respond at a rate of a few picoseconds, but the researchers found that the response rate of an optical switch using a few layers of graphene to be about 100 femtoseconds, or nearly 100 times faster than conventional materials.
The researchers say their breakthrough could enable graphene to dramatically improve telecommunications. "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," says Bath researcher Enrico Da Como.
In the future, this research also could lead to the development of quantum cascade lasers based on graphene. "The more we find out about graphene the more remarkable its properties seem to be," says Bath professor Simon Bending. "This research shows that it also has unique optical properties which could find important new applications."
From University of Bath
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