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 December 22, 2014 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 December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 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