Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

A thin layer of glass makes “sub-wavelength” lasers more practical

 

 

 

Laser precision: Graduate student Olesya Bondarenko inspects the sputter deposition tool used to apply a layer of aluminum to the sub-wavelength microlasers.
Credit: Erik Jepsen/Calit2 UC San Diego

Scientists have created the smallest ever laser capable of operating at room temperature. The device is less than one cubic micron–less than the wavelength of the light it emits. It is the first sub-wavelength laser that doesn’t require cryogenic cooling.

Yeshaiahu Fainman, head of the Ultrafast and Nanoscale Optics Group at the University of California, San Diego, who led the work, says it should be possible to pack the microlasers close together without interference between devices. This paves the way for, among other things, faster optical communications devices that use sub-wavelength lasers in dense arrays.

[…]

“This is very exciting work, and introduces important advances in the new field of nanolasers,” says Naomi Halas, the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University, and director of the University’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics. “Making use of metallic layers and clever design geometries has allowed this group to begin to build refinements into these structures that will expand how these devices are used in communications systems.”

In a paper published in the journal Nature Photonics, the UCSD group shows that its laser can produce emissions with a wavelength of 1.43 microns at room temperature. The group has received funding from the National Science Foundation as well as DARPA’s Nanoscale Architectures for Coherent Hyper-Optic Sources program.

You can read the full article here.

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May 12, 2010 - Posted by | Nano News

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