Graphene antennas would enable terabit wireless downloads

March 6, 2013

Nano-device hardware architecture (credit: Georgia Tech)

Researchers at Georgia Tech have drawn up blueprints for a wireless antenna made from atom-thin sheets of carbon, or graphene, that could allow terabit-per-second transfer speeds at a range of about one meter, MIT Technology Review reports

This would make it possible to obtain 10 high-definition movies by waving your phone past another device for one second. At even shorter ranges, such as a few centimeters, data rates of up to 100 terabits per second are theoretically possible.

To make an antenna, graphene could be shaped into narrow strips of between 10 and 100 nanometers wide and one micrometer long, allowing it to transmit and receive at a terahertz frequency, which roughly corresponds to those size scales. Electromagnetic waves in the terahertz frequency would then interact with plasmonic waves — oscillations of electrons at the surface of the graphene strip — to send and receive information.

Graphene antennas could also enable faster wireless connections between nanoscale components on chips.