New ultra-small laser opens up a world of possibilities

Apr 04, 2012
Filter-driven four-wave mixing design. Image (c) Nature Communications 3, Article number: 765 doi:10.1038/ncomms1762

(PhysOrg.com) -- Computing and medicine are among the many fields which could be revolutionised by a new form of ultra-small laser.

The innovation was created by an international team of scientists, including Dr David Moss, from the University of Sydney's School of Physics.

Featured on the front cover of the journal Nature Communications on 4 April, it is the first to be mode-locked making it highly precise, ultra-fast and ultra-small.

"Our new laser opens up a whole field of possibilities in terms of high precision, ultra-small, integrated lasers," said Dr. Moss, who is based at CUDOS- the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for - and the Institute of and at the University of Sydney.

"It's the first time we've been able to use a micro-cavity resonator to lock the modes of a laser, which is how ultra-short pulsed lasers are created. Lasers that have their modes locked generate the shortest of light," explained Dr. Moss.

Making lasers that can pulse at very high and flexible repetition rates - much higher than those achieved with electronics - is a field that has been pursued by scientists around the world. Different research groups have proposed a variety of solutions to creating these lasers, but this is the first success.

"Our new laser achieves extremely stable operation at unprecedentedly high repetition rates of 200 , while maintaining very narrow line widths, which leads to an extremely high quality pulsed emission," said Dr. Moss.

The team Dr. Moss worked with included scientists from Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Canada, the Istituto per i Processi Chimico-Fisici part of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Italy and Infinera Ltd in the USA.

"As well as being ultra small this new laser is versatile, stable and efficient which offers many exciting applications in a huge range of areas.

"It will have applications in computing, measuring and diagnosing diseases, and processing materials - all areas where lasers are already used. It will also open up entirely new areas such as precision optical clocks for applications in metrology, ultra-high speed telecommunications, microchip-computing and many other areas."

This work by Dr. Moss on the new laser continues his success in computing innovation, for which he won the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Innovation in Computer Science.

Explore further: 'Dressed' laser aimed at clouds may be key to inducing rain, lightning

More information: M. Peccianti, et al. Nature Communications 3, Article number: 765 doi:10.1038/ncomms1762

Related Stories

A new SPIDER for the web

Aug 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A revolutionary new chip that uses little energy and operates at ultrafast speeds for telecommunications and computing is set to replace the power-hungry, expensive and bulky equipment that ...

Recommended for you

Robotics goes micro-scale

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —The development of light-driven 'micro-robots' that can autonomously investigate and manipulate the nano-scale environment in a microscope comes a step closer, thanks to new research from the ...

High power laser sources at exotic wavelengths

Apr 14, 2014

High power laser sources at exotic wavelengths may be a step closer as researchers in China report a fibre optic parametric oscillator with record breaking efficiency. The research team believe this could ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Could 'Jedi Putter' be the force golfers need?

Putting is arguably the most important skill in golf; in fact, it's been described as a game within a game. Now a team of Rice engineering students has devised a training putter that offers golfers audio, ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.