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Stories Stories Technology A new way to make laser-like beams using 1,000 times less power

A new way to make laser-like beams using 1,000 times less power

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Written by melody     June 05, 2014    
 
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With precarious particles called polaritons that straddle the worlds of light and matter, University of Michigan researchers have demonstrated a new, practical and potentially more efficient way to make a coherent laser-like beam.

They have made what's believed to be the first polariton laser that is fueled by electrical current as opposed to light, and also works at room temperature, rather than way below zero.

laser-like beams

Those attributes make the device the most real-world ready of the handful of polariton lasers ever developed. It represents a milestone like none the field has seen since the invention of the most common type of laser -- the semiconductor diode -- in the early 1960s, the researchers say. While the first lasers were made in the 1950s, it wasn't until the semiconductor version, fueled by electricity rather than light, that the technology took off.

This work could advance efforts to put lasers on computer circuits to replace wire connections, leading to smaller and more powerful electronics. It may also have applications in medical devices and treatments and more.

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University of Michigan
500 S State St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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University of Michigan
Contributor's Comment
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation".[1][2] Lasers differ from other sources of light because they emit light coherently
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