Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A smarter way to make ultraviolet light beams

Date:
December 1, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Existing coherent ultraviolet light sources are power hungry, bulky and expensive. Researchers have found a better way to build compact ultraviolet sources with low power consumption that could improve information storage, microscopy and chemical analysis.

In the setup for this experiment, a telecommunication-compatible infrared beam is coupled to the whispering-gallery resonator through a diamond prism and the generated near-infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light are collected by a multi-mode fiber.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Mona Jarrahi

Existing coherent ultraviolet light sources are power hungry, bulky and expensive. University of Michigan researchers have found a better way to build compact ultraviolet sources with low power consumption that could improve information storage, microscopy and chemical analysis.

Related Articles


A paper on the research is newly published in Optics Express. The research was led by Mona Jarrahi and Tal Carmon, assistant professors in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The experiment was performed by Jeremy Moore and Matthew Tomes, both graduate students in the same department.

The researchers have optimized a type of optical resonator to take an infrared signal from relatively cheap telecommunication-compatible lasers and, using a low-power, nonlinear process, boost it to a higher-energy ultraviolet beam.

Their optical resonator is a millimeter-scale disk with a precisely engineered shape and smooth surface polishing to encourage the input beam to gain power as it circulates inside the resonator.

"We optimized the structure to achieve high gain over a broad range of optical wavelengths," Jarrahi said. "This allows us to make low-cost, wavelength-tunable ultraviolet sources using low-infrared power levels."

The researchers used their resonator to generate the fourth harmonic of the infrared beam they started with.

Like the harmonic distortions you get from new sound frequencies when you crank up a loudspeaker, engineers can generate harmonics of light by using the right materials. By pushing light beams through a nonlinear medium, they can coax out offshoot beams that are double, or in this case, quadruple the frequency and energy of the input beam, and one-quarter of the original wavelength.

Lasers get progressively more difficult to generate and more inefficient, as engineers aim for shorter wavelengths, the researchers said.

"As we go from green to blue, the efficiency of the laser goes down. Going to UV lasers is even harder," Jarrahi said. "This principle was first suggested by Einstein and is the reason why green laser pointers do not actually contain a green laser. It is actually a red laser and its wavelength is divided by two to become green light."

Ultraviolet light sources have applications in chemical detection, crisper medical imaging and finer lithography for more sophisticated integrated circuits and greater computer memory capacity.

The paper is titled "Continuous-wave ultraviolet emission through fourth-harmonic generation in a whispering-gallery resonator." The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.



Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "A smarter way to make ultraviolet light beams." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111129162902.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2011, December 1). A smarter way to make ultraviolet light beams. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111129162902.htm
University of Michigan. "A smarter way to make ultraviolet light beams." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111129162902.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Elon Musk's Hyperloop Moves Forward

Elon Musk's Hyperloop Moves Forward

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) Zipping around at 800-miles an hour is coming closer to reality in California. An entire town is being built around Elon Musk&apos;s Hyperloop concept and it wants you to stop in for a ride when it&apos;s ready. Brett Larson is on board. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 26, 2015) Dutch scientists have developed a smart bicycle that uses sensors, wireless technology and video to warn riders of traffic dangers. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Robot dogs are the perfect pet for some in Japan who go to repairmen-turned-vets when their pooch breaks down - while a full Buddhist funeral ceremony awaits those who don&apos;t make it. Duration: 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Forensic science, which has fascinated generations with its unravelling of gruesome crime mysteries, is being put under the microscope in an exhibition of real criminal investigations in London. Duration: 00:53 Video provided by AFP
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