Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed a laser microscope device that enhances the functionality of lasers.
EPFL’s device combines regular lasers with small circuits and can produce a very precise and uniform type of light.
The devices are made from materials like silicon nitride, which can trap light and control its properties. They operate at specific wavelengths of light, akin to a harmonious bell.
Unbridling New Perspectives
Laser microscopic technology unlocks new dimensions, enabling the creation of lasers that reach the X-ray spectrum. This opens wide doors for new applications such as medical imaging and microfabrication. Additionally, the new resonators enhance the quality of the laser light, making it more stable and consistent. This improvement leads to more accurate and efficient laser applications.
The latest Swiss technological breakthrough has the potential to lead to novel applications in optical computing and quantum technologies.
“Semiconductor lasers are ubiquitous in modern technology, found in everything from smartphones to fiber optic communications. However, their potential has been limited by a lack of coherence and the inability to generate visible light efficiently,” explains Professor Brès from EPFL’s School of Engineering.
“Our work not only improves the coherence of these lasers but also shifts their output towards the visible spectrum, opening up new avenues for their use,” Brès added.
So, this miniature laser microscope source has various applications, including:
- Atomic Clocks: The device’s ability to produce highly accurate and uniform light can be beneficial for extremely precise timekeeping devices. These devices are used in various scientific and technological functions.
- Medical Imaging: The device could potentially enhance the accuracy and capabilities of imaging devices used in the medical field.
- Telecommunications: The device’s ability to generate light in the visible range is crucial, as it could significantly enhance the performance of optical communication systems.
- High-Precision Metrology: The tiny-scale laser has applications in domains that require the science and practice of making highly accurate measurements of physical dimensions and properties. Therefore, the need for precise measurements is significant in both manufacturing and scientific research.
“We are not just improving existing technology but also pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with semiconductor lasers,” says Marco Clementi, who played a key role in the project.
The continuous advancement in technologies and materials consistently expands the limits of what can be achieved in various domains. This enables scientists and engineers to conduct increasingly precise measurements, contributing to progress and breakthroughs across diverse fields.
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