FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Channeling Light Through Nanowires

Nanoscale fiber optics could one day speed up computer chips by transmitting data with light instead of electricity. Nanowires could also make possible the development of tiny scientific and medical equipment.

Nanowire technology is presently in the research stage, being led by the University of California at Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and NASA. The research has shown that "nanoribbons" can transmit light in different wavelengths, and navigate tight turns and folds -- important characteristics if nanowires are to become a commercial reality.

Researchers have created nanowires as thin as 65,000 nanometers (a human hair is about 75,000 nanometers thick). The hope is to develop nanowires as thin as 1,000 nanometers within five to 10 years.

Source: Technology Research News