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 Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen
24.03.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Researchers make flexible glass for tiny medical devices
24.03.2017 | Brigham Young 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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>