Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Buckyball’ Material Brings Light into Line

15.09.2003


Using molecules resembling 60-sided soccer balls, a joint team of researchers from the University of Toronto and Carleton University has created a new material for processing information using light.



Led by U of T electrical and computer engineering professor Ted Sargent and Carleton University chemistry professor Wayne Wang, the team developed a material that combines microscopic spherical particles known as “buckyballs” with polyurethane, the polymer used as a coating on cars and furniture. The buckyballs, given the chemical notation C60, are clusters of 60 carbon atoms resembling soccer balls that are only a few nanometres in diameter. (A nanometre equals a billionth of a metre.)

When the mixture of polyurethane and buckyballs is used as a thin film on a flat surface, light particles travelling though the material pick up each others’ patterns. These materials have the capacity to make the delivery and processing of information in fibre-optic communications more efficient.


“In our high-optical-quality films, light interacts 10-to-100 times more strongly with itself, for all wavelengths used in optical fibre communications, than in previously reported C60-based materials,” says Sargent, a professor at U of T’s Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We’ve also shown for the first time that we can meet commercial engineering requirements: the films perform well at 1550 nanometres, the wavelength used to communicate information over long distances.”

Light—made up of particles called photons—is widely used in fibre-optic networks to communicate trillions of bits of information each second over long distances. At the moment, these fast and free-flowing signals are difficult to harness. The new material is described in a study in the Sept. 15 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

“The key to making this powerful signal-processing material was to master the chemistry of linking together the buckyballs and the polymer,” says Wang, Canada Research Chair in Emerging Organic Materials at Carleton University in Ottawa.

According to Sargent, the Nortel Networks-Canada Research Chair in Emerging Technologies, “this work proves that ‘designer molecules’ synthesized using nanotechnology can have powerful implications for future generations of computing and communications networks.”

The research was supported by the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, Nortel Networks, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canada Research Chairs Foundation, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Innovation Trust.


CONTACT:

Ted Sargent
Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
416-946-5051
ted.sargent@utoronto.ca

Nicolle Wahl
U of T Public Affairs
416-978-6974
nicolle.wahl@utoronto.ca





Nicolle Wahl | University of Toronto
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Electron tomography technique leads to 3-D reconstructions at the nanoscale
24.05.2018 | The Optical Society

nachricht These could revolutionize the world
24.05.2018 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>