Physicists develop laser with bandwith spanning 2 telecom windows

May 19, 2008

A team of physicists in the Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers (IUSL) of the Physics Department at The City College of New York (CCNY) have developed new near-infrared broadband laser materials with tunability ranges around triple those of earlier crystals. The new crystals have a tunability range of as much as 460 nanometers (nm) and have potential application in such fields as telecommunications, biomedical imaging and remote sensing.

“For the first time tunable laser operation was achieved at both the 1.33 um (microns) and 1.55 um telecommunication windows from a single optical center in trivalent chromium (Cr3+) doped LiInSiO4 (lithium iridium silicate) (Cr3+:LISO) and LiInGeO4 (lithium iridium germanate) (Cr3+:LIGO) single crystals,” said Dr. Robert R. Alfano, Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering and Director of IUSL.

The crystals have the widest bandwidth and the most near-infrared shifted wavelength range for laser operation ever demonstrated for the Cr3+ ion, noted Professor Alfano, who earlier this month was awarded The Optical Society of America’s Charles Hard Townes Award for his discovery of and work on the supercontinuum.

The Cr3+:LISO crystal was tunable in the 1,160 nm to 1,620 nm range; the Cr3+:LIGO crystal was tunable in the 1,150 to 1,600 nm range. Fosterite and Cunyite, earlier crystals developed at CCNY, have bandwidths of 165 nm (1,173 nm to 1,338 nm) and 144 nm (1,348 nm to 1,482 nm), respectively.

Because of their strong optical absorption in the range of laser diode pump sources and quantum efficiency of 50 percent, the new materials have promise for use in miniature broadband laser devices for telecommunication industry, biomedical imaging, optical coherence tomography, laser spectroscopy, ultrafast pulse generation and remote sensing, he added.

Source: City College of New York

Explore further: New 'topological insulator' could lead to superfast computers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ultracold atoms juggle spins with exceptional symmetry

Sep 03, 2014

The physical behavior of materials is strongly governed by the many electrons which can interact and move inside any solid. While an individual electron is a very simple object, carrying only mass, electric ...

Breakthrough in light sources for new quantum technology

Aug 29, 2014

One of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are photonic circuits, i.e. circuits based on light (photons) instead of electrons (electronic circuits). First, it is necessary to create ...

Optalysys will launch prototype optical processor

Aug 09, 2014

UK-based startup Optalysys is moving ahead to deliver exascale levels of processing power on a standard-sized desktop computer within the next few years, reported HPCwire earlier this week. The company itself ...

Recommended for you

Uncovering the forbidden side of molecules

Sep 21, 2014

Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland have succeeded in observing the "forbidden" infrared spectrum of a charged molecule for the first time. These extremely weak spectra offer perspectives ...

How Paramecium protozoa claw their way to the top

Sep 19, 2014

The ability to swim upwards – towards the sun and food supplies – is vital for many aquatic microorganisms. Exactly how they are able to differentiate between above and below in often murky waters is ...

User comments : 0