Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bell Labs Scientists Build World's First Two-In-One Laser

Date:
October 25, 1999
Source:
Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies
Summary:
Scientists at Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies (NYSE:LU), have built the world's first bidirectional semiconductor laser, a single device that does the work of two.

MURRAY HILL, N. J. -- Scientists at Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies (NYSE:LU), have built the world's first bidirectional semiconductor laser, a single device that does the work of two.

Related Articles


The experimental light source may someday be used to detect pollutants in the atmosphere or to increase the capacity of lightwave communications systems.

The device emits light at two widely different wavelengths, or colors, depending on the direction of electrical current flowing through it. The direction is changed by switching between negative and positive voltage applied across the device. In all other semiconductor lasers, current can flow in only one direction.

The new laser was designed by Bell Labs researcher Claire Gmachl, of the Semiconductor Physics Research Department. "It's a radically new concept," said Federico Capasso, head of the department and a member of the research team. "This is one laser that behaves as if it were two, emitting light at different wavelengths depending on whether the applied voltage is negative or positive."

The prototype laser emits light in the invisible region of the spectrum, where most gases and vapors have telltale light-absorption "fingerprints," so it could find applications in pollution detection in the atmosphere. If the wavelength of the laser pulses is varied, from being in resonance with the "fingerprint" of a gas to being out of resonance, changes in the intensity of light arriving at the detector can be used to determine the concentration of the pollutant.

It might also have applications as a communications laser if it were re-designed to emit at the shorter wavelengths used in lightwave communications. The transmission capacity of an optical link could be doubled if binary information were encoded on both streams of pulses emitted at different wavelengths in different time slots.

The lasers are grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), a crystal-growth technology developed by Alfred Cho, director of the Bell Labs Semiconductor Research Lab, which involves building new materials one atomic layer at a time.

The bidirectional laser research team includes Gmachl, Alessandro Tredicucci, Deborah Sivco, Albert Hutchinson, Capasso and Cho. Their work is described in the current issue of the journal Science.

The new device is the latest in a long line of laser innovations from Bell Labs, where 40 years ago Arthur Schawlow and Charles Townes described the concept and design for the laser -- one of the century's greatest inventions. Semiconductor lasers are now the most widely used and versatile class of lasers.

Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., designs, builds, and delivers a wide range of public and private networks, communications systems and software, data networking systems, business telephone systems, and microelectronics components. Bell Labs is the research and development arm for the company. For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit its web site at http://www.lucent.com.

###

High-resolution photo available at http://www.bell-labs.com

Caption: Researchers Deborah Sivco (left) and Claire Gmachl, of Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies, monitor a lab experiment using the world's first bidirectional semiconductor laser, a single device that does the work of two.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. "Bell Labs Scientists Build World's First Two-In-One Laser." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991023120905.htm>.
Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. (1999, October 25). Bell Labs Scientists Build World's First Two-In-One Laser. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991023120905.htm
Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. "Bell Labs Scientists Build World's First Two-In-One Laser." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991023120905.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins