Different materials for solar sails with wide variation in capability are all in development. The lighter the sail then the faster it will accelerate.
This link has a table which shows the different speeds possible with different accelerations.
The carbon nanotube sail has the highest potential. 1 square kilometer 30 kg or 0.03 grams per square meter
Size and weight make a huge difference in performance.
From 2000 there was what seemed like a promising and simple approach.
The New Energy systems material is now 3 grams per square meter. The New Energy system material has the advantage of being stiffer and able to support itself and hold a shape.
If you have a nanofactory or anything close that means the top end of the carbon nanotube solar sail performance should fall out as a precursor capabilitity.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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