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‘Twisted Light’ To Deliver Internet Feeds 100 Times Faster

Researchers at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have developed new fibreoptic technology claimed to be able to harness “twisted” light beams to supply Internet feeds as much as 100-times faster than current technology

According to a paper in the Nature Communications journal, current fibre-optic comms use just a fraction of light’s capacity by carrying data on the colour spectrum.

An RMIT team has been instead using light in a state of “orbital angular momentum” (OAM) – carrying data on light waves that have been twisted into a spiral to increase their capacity.

Says co-lead author Dr Haoran Ren from RMIT’s School of Science: “Our miniature OAM nano-electronic detector is designed to separate different OAM light states in a continuous order and to decode the information carried by twisted light.

“To do this previously would require a machine the size of a table, which is completely impractical for telecommunications. By using ultrathin topological nanosheets measuring a fraction of a millimetre, our invention does this job better – and fits on the end of an optical fibre.”

Professor Min Gu – who co-authored the paper – says the invention could be applied to increase the bandwidth, and potentially the processing speed, of that fibre by more than 100 times within the next couple of years.