Diminutive cable holds promise in medical, solar realms
Darren Murph|January 8, 2007 9:07 PM
We tend to prefer our electronics to be as far from invasive as possible, and that definitely includes cabling. While we'd take wireless over the corded approach any day, tethered applications still have their place, and a diminutive new cable is showing bigtime promise in a few prominent fields. A research team has developed a cable that resembles that of an old fashioned coaxial strand, yet it's reportedly "much thinner than a human hair" and can transmit visible light. By constructing a cable about 300-nanometers wide which houses an inner wire of carbon surrounded by an insulator and an outer wire of aluminum, visible light can pass through, paving the way for its use in highly efficient solar energy cells, or furthermore, "miniature electrical circuitry and microscopic light-based switching devices for optical computing." Researchers even suggest that it could be used in retinal implants or "detecting single molecules of pathogens in the body." We're not yet sure just how potent or powerful these itty bitty cables can be, but judging by size alone, we're halfway sold already.