The first ultrafast laser was created in the 1970s. However, the development of them for different appliances still continues. So there are some recent developments connected to ultrafast lasers that we are going to reveal in this article.
The specific characteristics of one of the ultrafast lasers, femtosecond lasers, can give scientists an opportunity to interact with biological material by changing cells’ functions one by one. Ultrafast lasers produce short fiber laser pulses that transfer energy to electrons before interacting with the environment. For instance, an electron can get energy from two photons before losing energy itself while interacting with other electrons. This unique feature helps scientists in manipulating living cells.
Ultrafast lasers decrease the amount of heat transferring to ablate material without melting. As a result, the scientists get a very clean microfabrication process. Besides, by focusing on a place a few microns in size the laser beam can excite electrons with two low-energy photons. This process takes place only when there is high intensity and limitation of the local interaction with the material.
So scientists have achieved the production of ultrafast lasers that create microstructures for biological studies and have the capability to modify the behavior of living cells.
The other research team of scientists from China used ultrafast lasers for taking the first films of the molecules. Scientists fired an intense ray of light at samples to take X-ray photos. According to them, their developed cameras are one billion times faster. So this ability makes it possible to take the moments of the speediest processes like chemical reactions.
This invention gives researchers an opportunity to create the first molecular movies. The research team is going to continue the new fiber laser system optimization and make it available for global users.
This new fiber laser system based on an ultrafast laser is one of the state-of-the-art fiber laser technologies. It can produce fiber laser pulses with identical photons and find small changes in material structure. During the test period, the experiments were held with the usage of the “water window”, a spectral window where photons are absorbed by carbon, not by oxygen. In this case, water is more transparent to X-rays. But other crucial elements, like carbons, strongly interact with X-rays. Thanks to the coherent and ultrafast pulses, scientists could take X-ray images of molecules and atoms.
Both these new technologies containing ultrafast lasers have an aim to reveal fundamental processes in materials, technology, and living organisms. Moreover, they will lead to new discoveries in fiber laser technology.
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