Site Network: Home |

Pure Silicon Laser Debuts

Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles have made a prototype laser from the stuff of computer chips -- silicon. The laser is tunable, meaning it can lase in a range of wavelengths, or colors, and it works at room temperature.

The silicon laser could be used to provide optical wireless communications at a wavelength that is optimal for transmission through air and even fog, to detect chemicals and biological molecules, and to provide an infrared countermeasure capable of jamming heat-seeking missiles, according to the researchers.

The device promises to be compatible with today's silicon manufacturing processes because it amplifies light using the natural atomic vibrations of silicon rather than a mix of materials or a particular nanoscale physical structure. This makes silicon lasers potentially inexpensive.

A laser, short for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, energizes matter. When an atom absorbs energy its electrons move to higher energy levels.

Ordinarily silicon makes a poor laser medium because when its electrons drop to a lower energy level more energy is channeled into the material as vibrations or heat than is emitted as light. The researchers got around this problem using the Raman effect.

When photons strike atoms, many are absorbed and some scatter. The scattered photons gain or lose energy depending on whether the atoms they struck are in a high or low energy state. The energy change causes the photons' wavelength to shift.

When a powerful enough laser strikes a material, the scattered photons induce lasing at the Raman-shifted wavelength. Raman lasers made from glass optical fiber are common. The researchers found that the Raman effect is 10,000 times stronger in silicon than in optical fiber.

A practical silicon Raman laser could be ready in two years. The work appeared in the October 18, 2004 issue of Optics Express.


Post a Comment

This website does not recommend the purchase or sale of any stocks, options, bonds or any investment of any kind. This website does not provide investment advice. Disclaimer and Notices: Disclaimer: This website may contain "forward-looking" information including statements concerning the company's outlook for the future, as well as other statements of beliefs, future plans and strategies or anticipated events, and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking information and statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. The information on this website includes forward looking statements, including statements regarding projections of future operations, product applications, development and production, future benefits of contractual arrangements, growth in demand, as well as statements containing words like believe, estimate, expect, anticipate, target, plan, will, could, would, and other similar expressions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from the results implied or expressed in the forward looking statement. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements are included in MVIS most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the heading 'Risk factors related to the company's business,' and our other reports filed with the Comission from time to time. Except as expressly required by Federal securities laws, MVIS Blog undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in circumstances, or other reasons. Legal Notice: Although considerable care has been taken in preparing and maintaining the information and material contained on this website, MVIS Blog makes no representation nor gives any warranty as to the currency, completeness, accuracy or correctness of any of the elements contained herein. Facts and information contained in the website are believed to be accurate at the time of posting. However, information may be superseded by subsequent disclosure, and changes may be made at any time without prior notice. MVIS Blog shall not be responsible for, or liable in respect of, any damage, direct or indirect, or of any nature whatsoever, resulting from the use of the information contained herein. While the information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. MVIS Blog has not independently verified the facts, assumptions, and estimates contained on this website. Accordingly, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on the fairness, accuracy, or completeness of the information and opinions contained on this website. Consequently, MVIS Blog assumes no liability for the accompanying information, which is being provided to you solely for evaluation and general information. This website does not contain inside information, proprietary or confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements or otherwise.