Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laser With Controlled Polarization: Innovation Opens Door To Wide Range Of Applications In Photonics And Communications

Date:
April 19, 2009
Source:
Harvard University
Summary:
Researchers in the United States and Japan have demonstrated lasers in which the direction of oscillation of the emitted radiation can be designed and controlled at will.

Animation of the demonstration of a laser in which the direction of oscillation of the emitted radiation, known as polarization, can be designed and controlled at will.
Credit: Laboratory of Federico Cappaso, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Applied scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) in collaboration with researchers from Hamamatsu Photonics in Hamamatsu City, Japan, have demonstrated, for the first time, lasers in which the direction of oscillation of the emitted radiation, known as polarization, can be designed and controlled at will.

Related Articles


The innovation opens the door to a wide range of applications in photonics and communications. Harvard University has filed a broad patent on the invention.

Spearheaded by graduate student Nanfang Yu and Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering, both of SEAS, and by a team at Hamamatsu Photonics headed by Dr. Hirofumi Kan, General Manager of the Laser Group, the findings will be published as a cover feature of the April 13 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

"Polarization is one of the key features defining a laser beam. Controlling it represents an important new step towards beam engineering of lasers with unprecedented flexibility, tailored for specific applications," explains Capasso. "The novelty of our approach is that instead of being conducted externally, which requires bulky and expensive optical components, manipulation of the beam polarization is achieved by directly integrating the polarizer on the laser facet. This compact solution is applicable to semiconductor lasers and other solid-state lasers, all the way from communication wavelengths to the mid-infrared and Terahertz spectrum".

Light sources with a desirable polarization state are useful for a wide variety of applications. For example, satellite communications use two orthogonal polarizations to double the capacity of the channel; circularly-polarized light sources are necessary to detect certain biomolecules; and laser sources with a variety of polarization states have relevance for quantum cryptography.

To achieve the results, the researchers sculpted a metallic structure, dubbed a plasmonic polarizer directly on the facet of a quantum cascade (QC) laser. The QC laser emitted at a wavelength of ten microns (in the invisible part of the spectrum known as the mid-infrared where the atmosphere is transparent). The team was able to control the state of polarization by generating both linearly polarized light along an arbitrary direction and circularly polarized light.

The team's co-authors are postdoctoral researcher Qijie Wang and research associates Christian Pflügl and Laurent Diehl (all from Harvard) and researchers Tadataka Edamura, Sninichi Furuta, and Masamichi Yamanishi (both from Hamamatsu Photonics).

The research was partially supported by Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The authors also acknowledge the support of two Harvard-based centers, the NSF-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) and the Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS), a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Harvard University. "Laser With Controlled Polarization: Innovation Opens Door To Wide Range Of Applications In Photonics And Communications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413083325.htm>.
Harvard University. (2009, April 19). Laser With Controlled Polarization: Innovation Opens Door To Wide Range Of Applications In Photonics And Communications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413083325.htm
Harvard University. "Laser With Controlled Polarization: Innovation Opens Door To Wide Range Of Applications In Photonics And Communications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090413083325.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 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