New generation laser will herald technological breakthrough

Oct 28, 2013
New generation laser will herald technological breakthrough
In the future novel optochips that combine lasers with electronics will dramatically reduce the size of technology devices (Holey Optochip image courtesy of IBM).

Research into a new type of laser will dramatically improve future devices used for sensing and in communications, according to scientists at the University.

In a paper recently published in Physical Review B, researchers from the Department of Physics demonstrate their work into bosonic lasers which emit .

Such lasers have been around for years, commonly found in satellites, for environmental monitoring, astronomy, security and non-destructive testing, imaging, and medical applications. But they are considered bulky, impractical and expensive.

Through this latest study, the researchers demonstrate how such lasers could be exploited to improve their performance and, potentially, lead to the miniaturisation of future technological devices. The research showcases how, in the future, new 'bosonic lasers' emitting terahertz radiation could be fine-tuned to vary or minimise the power required by the or to alter the intensity of terahertz radiation.

Scientists are excited by terahertz technologies as they provide unprecedented sensing capabilities across biology, pharmacy, medicine, material science, environment monitoring, security, astronomy and communications.

From DNA chips, to skin-cancer diagnosis, to explosives inspection, there are numerous potentials across every field. Information and communications technology also benefits from terahertz technology, including for wireless communication, high-speed data processing and satellite communication.

The 'bosonic laser' emits not only terahertz radiation but also visible blue light in the same direction, allowing it be used as a surgical instrument. With visible light serving as guide to direct the radiation beam, surgeons would be able to perform precision surgery.

The Terahertz range on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Dr Gabriela Slavcheva, from the Department of Physics, said: "There are no such similar resources currently available and this research really opens up the way for new applications in medicine, biology, security, sensing and in high speed computers and high speed communications.

"The bosonic terahertz laser will work in tandem with a conventional light emitting diode (LED), which is a completely new approach. This will enable the miniaturisation of new optochips which, in turn, will help develop a whole new class of novel devices and applications."

The next stage of research is to improve the efficiency of the lasers. These sorts of experiments are currently under way in the US, France and other countries and there is currently fierce completion to develop the technology.

To paper is titled 'Polarization selection rules in exciton-based lasers.'

Explore further: Precision gas sensor could fit on a chip

More information: opus.bath.ac.uk/37469/

Related Stories

Graphene can emit laser flashes

Oct 25, 2013

Graphene is considered the jack-of-all-trades of materials science: The two-dimensional honeycomb-shaped lattice made up of carbon atoms is stronger than steel and exhibits extremely high charge carrier mobilities. ...

Magnetisation controlled at picosecond intervals

Aug 12, 2013

A terahertz laser developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute makes it possible to control a material's magnetisation at a timescale of picoseconds. In their experiment, the researchers shone extremely short ...

Fast detector for a wide wavelength range

Aug 08, 2013

Free-electron lasers are extremely versatile research tools because their intense, super short light flashes permit a closer look at new materials and even biological molecules; thus, allowing effects to ...

Recommended for you

New filter could advance terahertz data transmission

Feb 27, 2015

University of Utah engineers have discovered a new approach for designing filters capable of separating different frequencies in the terahertz spectrum, the next generation of communications bandwidth that ...

The super-resolution revolution

Feb 27, 2015

Cambridge scientists are part of a resolution revolution. Building powerful instruments that shatter the physical limits of optical microscopy, they are beginning to watch molecular processes as they happen, ...

Precision gas sensor could fit on a chip

Feb 27, 2015

Using their expertise in silicon optics, Cornell engineers have miniaturized a light source in the elusive mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectrum, effectively squeezing the capabilities of a large, tabletop laser onto a 1-millimeter ...

A new X-ray microscope for nanoscale imaging

Feb 27, 2015

Delivering the capability to image nanostructures and chemical reactions down to nanometer resolution requires a new class of x-ray microscope that can perform precision microscopy experiments using ultra-bright ...

New research signals big future for quantum radar

Feb 26, 2015

A prototype quantum radar that has the potential to detect objects which are invisible to conventional systems has been developed by an international research team led by a quantum information scientist at the University ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.