A team of scientists from Austria has developed a new fiber laser technology that helps to expand the practicality and usability of the mid-infrared pulsed lasing process. The thing is that infrared laser systems can emit short and intense laser beam pulses and they are very useful for molecular detection despite their previous difficult production. The scientists claim that these fiber lasers do not need a large experimental facility and it is possible to decrease their size.
First laser beam light in the Mid-IR range has been produced by a specially made quantum cascade laser system. It should be noted that specific laser beam light wavelengths are dependent on the material’s atoms. Nevertheless, quantum cascade laser systems allow for creating and directing nanostructures to tune the laser beam light wavelength.
Moreover, this fiber laser enables to produce not only a single light color but a range of various wavelength frequencies. Herewith, the laser system has a frequency comb because the spectrum is regular and the distance between frequencies is equal like in a comb. Additionally, a phase of a laser beam plays an important role. The thing is that the fiber laser system can have different vibration modes – with parallel, opposite motion resulting in different wavelength frequencies.
Also, laser beam waves can vibrate in sync and “then superimpose one another and generate short, intense laser pulses.” Their vibrations can be staggered when it comes to continuous intensity. Previously the switching back and forth between these two options in quantum cascade laser system has been quite challenging. Nowadays the fiber laser system includes a small modulator, which laser beam waves pass by again and again.
The modulator used in the new laser system has an alternating electrical voltage, that is the reason why it can emit various light vibrations based on the voltage frequency and strength. For instance, the manipulation of the modulator at the right frequency leads to sync vibration of various laser beam frequencies of the frequency comb. So it is real for the fiber laser system to unite these laser beam frequencies into short, intense pulses.
The fiber laser technology is regarded as very promising because it allows changing the size of the system, therefore, resulting in novel applications. Such a laser system can be used in medical or scientific applications to design tiny measuring tools that apply specific laser beams to look for particular molecules. The benefit of high laser beam intensity advances measurements that need two photons at the same time.
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