“It’s not quite the speed of light, but it’s probably 90 percent the speed of light. That’s still thousands of times faster than electronics,” Naughton said in an interview.
The invention has the potential to lead to numerous technological advances, Naughton added, saying, “It’s important because it’s useful.”
The tiny cable might be used in high-efficiency solar energy cells, Naughton said.
It could lend itself to miniature electrical circuitry and microscopic light-based switching devices for optical computing. It also could have medical applications such as retinal implants for people with the eye disease macular degeneration or detecting single molecules of pathogens in the body, Naughton said.