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Researchers in Canada have shown that nanotechnology can be used to achieve a maximum power Internet based on the power of light. This discovery could lead to a network 100 times faster than the current one.
In a study published this month in the Nano Letter, Professor Ted Sargent and colleagues explain the use of one laser to direct another with unprecedented accuracy, a necessary condition within futuristic fiber optic networks. "This discovery shows how nanotechnology is capable of designing and creating materials made by means of a molecule" according to Professor Sargent.
Until now, engineering researchers have not been able to realize the ability of light to control light. The impossibility of making materials realize their theoretical potential is known within the field of non-linear molecular optics as the "Kuzyk" quantum gap (Kuzyk quantam gap). "Until now the molecular materials used to change light signals with light have been weaker than physical theory said they should be. With these latest discoveries, for the first time the ability to process data-containing signals using light is within our grasp, ”according to Sargent.
To bridge the Kuzyk gap, two Carleton University professors designed a substance that combined buckyballs with a type of polymer. This combination succeeded in creating a clear and smooth layer, designed to make light particles catch the path of other particles.
Then Sargent and his fellow at the University of Toronto, Qiying Chen, studied the optical properties of this new hybrid substance. They discovered that the substance was capable of processing data carried on telecommunications waves - the red-hot colors of light used in fiber optic cables. In this sense, they came closer than ever to what, according to quantitative mechanical physics, is possible. According to Sargent, a future system based on fiber optic communication could send signals over the global network in one pico-second, resulting in an Internet 100 times faster than the current one.