Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Graphene's shining light could lead to super-fast Internet

Date:
August 31, 2011
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Internet connection speeds could be tens of times faster than they currently are, thanks to new research by scientists using wonder material graphene. By combining graphene with metallic nanostructures, they show a twenty-fold enhancement in harvesting light by graphene, which paves the way for advances in high-speed internet and other communications.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, a collaboration between the Universities of Manchester and Cambridge, which includes Nobel Prize winning scientists Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov, has discovered a crucial recipe for improving characteristics of graphene devices for use as photodetectors in future high-speed optical communications.

By combining graphene with metallic nanostructures, they show a twenty-fold enhancement in harvesting light by graphene, which paves the way for advances in high-speed internet and other communications.

By putting two closely-spaced metallic wires on top of graphene and shining light on this structure, researchers previously showed that this generates electric power. This simple device presents an elementary solar cell.

More importantly for applications, such graphene devices can be incredibly fast, tens and potentially hundred times faster than communication rates in the fastest internet cables, which is due to the unique nature of electrons in graphene, their high mobility and high velocity.

The major stumbling block towards practical applications for these otherwise very promising devices has so far been their low efficiency. The problem is that graphene -- the thinnest material in the world -- absorbs little light, approximately only 3%, with the rest going through without contributing to the electrical power.

The Manchester researchers have solved the problems by combining graphene with tiny metallic structures, specially arranged on top of graphene.

These so-called plasmonic nanostructures have dramatically enhanced the optical electric field felt by graphene and effectively concentrated light within the one-atom-thick carbon layer.

By using the plasmonic enhancement, the light-harvesting performance of graphene was boosted by twenty times, without sacrificing any of its speed. The future efficiency can be improved even further.

Dr Alexander Grigorenko, an expert in plasmonics and a leading member of the team, said: "Graphene seems a natural companion for plasmonics. We expected that plasmonic nanostructures could improve the efficiency of graphene-based devices but it has come as a pleasant surprise that the improvements can be so dramatic."

Professor Novoselov added: "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.

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

Professor Andrea Ferrari, from the Cambridge Engineering Department, who lead the Cambridge effort in the collaboration, said "So far, the main focus of graphene research has been on fundamental physics and electronic devices.

"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."

Graphene is a novel two-dimensional material which can be seen as a monolayer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice.

It is a wonder material that possesses a large number of unique properties and is currently considered in many new technologies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T.J. Echtermeyer, L. Britnell, P.K. Jasnos, A. Lombardo, R.V. Gorbachev, A.N. Grigorenko, A.K. Geim, A.C. Ferrari, K.S. Novoselov. Strong plasmonic enhancement of photovoltage in graphene. Nature Communications, 2011; 2: 458 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1464

Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Graphene's shining light could lead to super-fast Internet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830144505.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2011, August 31). Graphene's shining light could lead to super-fast Internet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830144505.htm
University of Manchester. "Graphene's shining light could lead to super-fast Internet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830144505.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins