Carbon lights up

US and Korean researchers have turned to graphene in the quest for a filament material that could be used in a kind of incandescent, on-chip light source, without melting the surrounding electronics. The research published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology brings carbon full circle as pioneering lightbulb inventor Joseph Swan experimented with carbonized paper filaments long before Thomas Edison lit up the world with his version of the light bulb. Bright, on-chip light sources could pave the way to future photonic circuitry and perhaps the optical computer.