OCT 20, 2020 3:03 PM PDT

How to generate visible laser light on microchips

A new study reported in the journal Optica highlights the development of a microchip technology that can convert invisible near-infrared laser light into red, orange, yellow, and green lasers. Led by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland, the study has implications for applications in quantum information science.

The technology adds to the NIST on a Chip program by producing laser light on integrated microchips. The goal of the technology is to allow industries, medicine, and academia to access a wide range of specified wavelengths using a single, small-scale platform, that is inexpensive and integrates lasers with miniature optical circuits that can be used to precision timekeeping and quantum communication systems.

Small, lightweight visible-light laser systems that have low energy requirements are the key to developing atomic optical technologies that can be used outside of laboratories. To try to achieve this, Xiyuan Lu, Kartik Srinivasan, and their colleagues used silicon nitride, a material that has a nonlinear response to light.

As explained by Science Daily, that means that “if incoming light has high enough intensity, the color of the exiting light does not necessarily match the color of the light that entered. That is because when bound electrons in a nonlinear optical material interact with high-intensity incident light, the electrons re-radiate that light at frequencies, or colors, that differ from those of the incident light.”

Photo: Pexels

Using a process called third-order optical parametric oscillation (OPO), in which the nonlinear material converts incident light in the near-infrared into two frequencies, the researchers were finally able to produce particular visible-light wavelengths. They then designed different microresonators to put on each microchip so that they would generate different colors.

"The benefit of our approach is that any one of these wavelengths can be accessed just by adjusting the dimensions of our microresonators," said Srinivasan.

"Though a first demonstration," Lu said, "we are excited at the possibility of combining this nonlinear optics technique with well-established near-infrared laser technology to create new types of on-chip light sources that can be used in a variety of applications."

Sources: Optica, Science Daily

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
SEP 21, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Stable skyrmions hold the future of electronic devices
SEP 21, 2020
Stable skyrmions hold the future of electronic devices
New research published in Nature Communications reports on development in skyrmion stability, brought to us from sc ...
OCT 05, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Improving microbial elecrosynthesis
OCT 05, 2020
Improving microbial elecrosynthesis
New research from a KAUST team highlights the development of a semiconductive photocatalyst that recycles CO2 and c ...
OCT 08, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
How much radiation do super flares emit?
OCT 08, 2020
How much radiation do super flares emit?
Research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published in Astrophysical Journal contemplates the amount ...
OCT 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Why doping polycrystalline solar cells improves efficiency
OCT 27, 2020
Why doping polycrystalline solar cells improves efficiency
While there is certainly a fair amount of warranted pessimism about the future of our planet, there is also warranted op ...
NOV 02, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Eliminating CO2 at room temperature
NOV 02, 2020
Eliminating CO2 at room temperature
A new chemical process developed by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) demonstrate ...
NOV 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Are PBDEs in your house? Understanding the impacts of PBDE chemicals on the development of diabetes
NOV 10, 2020
Are PBDEs in your house? Understanding the impacts of PBDE chemicals on the development of diabetes
New research from UC Riverside conducted on animal models suggests that maternal exposure to common flame retardants cal ...
Loading Comments...