When Mashable reached out to the researchers for more details about how the laser would work, one scientist confirmed it could impact the web.
“If one can now switch the laser on and off very fast, then more information is transported for a given time frame,” Carsten Ronning, a scientist from Germany’s Friedrich Schiller University Jena, told Mashable.
The university also partnered with researchers at Imperial College London on the project.
What sets this laser apart from previous iterations is that the zinc oxide nanowire material used to develop the lasers is placed on silver instead of glass, which is traditionally used, according to an Imperial College London news release.
The scientists then use a special technique to squeeze light into a much smaller place than usual. By switching out a glass surface and shoving a bunch of light into a teeny tiny space, the researchers were able to shrink the diameter of the laser down to about a thousandth the size of a human hair, according to the news release. This causes a greater interaction between the light and nanowire, too.
The ultra-thin laser produces as many as 1 trillion pulses per second, making it much faster than your run-of-the-mill laser.
The laser operates stably at room temperature. Ronning said that this is probably the maximum possible speed at which such a laser can be operated.