Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diamonds Are A Laser's Best Friend

Date:
September 20, 2009
Source:
Optical Society of America
Summary:
Tomorrow's lasers may come with a bit of bling, thanks to a new technology that uses man-made diamonds to enhance the power and capabilities of lasers. Researchers have now demonstrated the first laser built with diamonds that has comparable efficiency to lasers built with other materials.

Tomorrow's lasers may come with a bit of bling, thanks to a new technology that uses man-made diamonds to enhance the power and capabilities of lasers. Researchers in Australia have now demonstrated the first laser built with diamonds that has comparable efficiency to lasers built with other materials.

This "Raman" laser has applications that range from defense technologies and trace gas detectors to medical devices and satellite mapping of greenhouse gases. The special properties of diamonds offer a stepping stone to more powerful lasers that can be optimized to produce laser light colors currently unavailable to existing technologies.

Richard Mildren of Macqaurie University in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and Alexander Sabella of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in Edinburgh, South Australia developed the device, described in the current issue of the Optical Society (OSA) journal Optics Letters.

"Diamond is quite a bizarre material with unique and extreme properties," says Mildren. "Single crystal diamond is very new on the scene as an optical and laser material."

Existing Raman lasers typically use crystals of silicon, barium nitrate or metal tungstate to amplify light created by a pump laser. Compared to these materials, diamond has a higher optical gain (ability to amplify) as well as a greater thermal conductivity (ability to conduct heat), making it ideal for high-power applications. Diamond crystals also can be made to generate a wider variety of wavelengths of light, each of which have its own applications—from ultraviolet light at 225 nanometers to far-infrared light at 100 microns.

In 2008, Mildren built the first diamond Raman laser, reported in Optics Express, OSA's open-access journal. This proof-of-principle device was only 20 percent as efficient as the best barium nitrate lasers.

In the past year, the industrial process used to grow these artificial diamonds—chemical vapor deposition—has greatly improved, allowing the synthesis of crystals with a lower birefringence (less likely to split apart an incoming beam of light).

"The material is now good enough to start moving into applications that are of real practical interest," says Mildren.

Now Mildren's current laser, which uses a 6.7 mm long diamond, achieves an efficiency of 63.5 percent, which is competitive with the 65 percent efficiency achieved by existing Raman lasers. The device is currently optimized to produce yellow laser light useful for medical applications such as eye surgery, and other applications should be possible with different optimization schemes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Optical Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R.P. Mildren et al. Highly efficient diamond Raman laser. Optics Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 18, pp. 2811-2813 [link]

Cite This Page:

Optical Society of America. "Diamonds Are A Laser's Best Friend." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090918153113.htm>.
Optical Society of America. (2009, September 20). Diamonds Are A Laser's Best Friend. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090918153113.htm
Optical Society of America. "Diamonds Are A Laser's Best Friend." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090918153113.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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