Internet connection speeds could soon be 10 times faster than they are now thanks to a breakthrough by researchers at two leading UK universities.
Teams at the University of Manchester and Cambridge have increased the way in which the thinnest material on earth, graphene, uses light to create power.
Historically, graphene has only been capable of converting three per cent of the light passing through it into energy. The researchers have teamed graphene with metallic nanostructures to boost this transfer by a factor of 20.
"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 this material, and on the feasibility and the range of possible applications,' said Professor Kostya Novoselov.
“Many leading electronics companies consider graphene for the next generation of devices. This work certainly boosts graphene’s chances even further.”
The researchers expect to develop their findings further, to deliver even greater efficiency when it comes to power and speed.
“So far, the main focus of graphene research has been on fundamental physics and electronic devices," said Professor Andrea Ferrari.
“These results show its great potential in the fields of photonics and optoelectronics, where the combination of its unique optical and electronic properties with plasmonic nanostructures, can be fully exploited, even in the absence of a bandgap, in a variety of useful devices, such as solar cells and photodetectors"
This article originally appeared at itpro.co.uk