NIST's electro-optic laser pulses 100 times faster than usual ultrafast light

NIST researchers have developed a laser that pulses 100 times more often than conventional ultra-fast lasers. This advanced developed laser is expected to enlarge the benefits of ultrafast science to new applications such as imaging of biological materials in real time.

NIST's ultrafast electro-optic laser relies on this aluminum "can" to stabilize and filter the electronic signals, which bounce back and forth inside until fixed waves emerge at the strongest frequencies and block or filter out other frequencies. Credit: D. Carlson/NIST

By using common electronics, National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) researchers have developed a laser that pulses 100 times more often than conventional ultra-fast lasers. This advanced developed laser is expected to enlarge the benefits of ultrafast science to new applications such as imaging of biological materials in real time.
Until now, researchers have been unable to electronically switch light to make ultrafast pulses and eliminate electronic noise, or interference. But, now, researchers have developed a filtering method to reduce the heat-induced interference that generally would destroy the consistency of electronically integrated light.
“We tamed the light with an aluminum can, referring to the 'cavity' in which the electronic signals are stabilized and filtered. As the signals bounce back and forth inside something like a soda can, fixed waves emerge at the strongest frequencies and block or filter out other frequencies," Project leader Scott Papp said.
The conventional source of ultrafast light is an optical frequency comb, a actual 'ruler' for light. Combs are usually made with sophisticated 'mode-locked' lasers, which form pulses from many different colors of light waves that overlap, creating links between optical and microwave frequencies. Interoperation of optical and microwave signals powers the latest advances in communications, timekeeping and quantum sensing systems.
Graphic depicting how specific frequencies, or colors, of light (sharp peaks) emerge from the electronic background noise (blue) in NIST's ultrafast electro-optic laser. The vertical backdrop shows how these colors combine to create an optical frequency comb, or "ruler" for light. Credit: D. Carlson/NIST
In contrast, NIST’s new electro-optic laser imposes microwave electronic vibrations on a continuous-wave laser operating at optical frequencies, effectively carving pulses into the light.
Lead author David Carlson said, “In any ultrafast laser, each pulse lasts for, say, 20 femtoseconds. In mode-locked lasers, the pulses come out every 10 nanoseconds. In our electro-optic laser, the pulses come out every 100 picoseconds. So that’s the speedup here—ultrafast pulses that arrive 100 times faster or more.”
“Chemical and biological imaging is a good example of the applications for this type of laser. Probing biological samples with ultrafast pulses provides both imaging and chemical makeup information. Using our technology, this kind of imaging could happen dramatically faster. So, hyperspectral imaging that currently takes a minute could happen in real time," Papp said.
In order to develop this laser, scientists used an infrared continuous-wave laser to create pulses with an oscillator stabilized by the cavity. This provides the equivalent of a memory to ensure all the pulses are identical. The laser produces optical pulses at a microwave rate, and each pulse is directed through a microchip waveguide structure to generate many more colors in the frequency comb.
“The electro-optic laser offers unprecedented speed combined with accuracy and stability that are comparable to that of a mode-locked laser. The laser was constructed using commercial telecommunications and microwave components, making the system very reliable. The combination of reliability and accuracy makes electro-optic combs attractive for long-term measurements of optical clock networks or communications or sensor systems in which data needs to be acquired faster than is currently possible," Papp said.

The research is published in the journal Science.

Subscribe Newsletter

Name

Health,34,Nature,6,Science,73,Space,57,Technology,93,
ltr
item
Scien-Tech News: NIST's electro-optic laser pulses 100 times faster than usual ultrafast light
NIST's electro-optic laser pulses 100 times faster than usual ultrafast light
NIST researchers have developed a laser that pulses 100 times more often than conventional ultra-fast lasers. This advanced developed laser is expected to enlarge the benefits of ultrafast science to new applications such as imaging of biological materials in real time.
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PFNp4A0kdU0/W63mvoobMHI/AAAAAAAAAy0/7r_tCy3eVZwrKWLQaLodzV4dpkBeLOZfwCLcBGAs/s400/laser_01.jpg
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PFNp4A0kdU0/W63mvoobMHI/AAAAAAAAAy0/7r_tCy3eVZwrKWLQaLodzV4dpkBeLOZfwCLcBGAs/s72-c/laser_01.jpg
Scien-Tech News
https://www.scien-technews.com/2018/09/new-electro-optic-laser-pulses-100-times-faster.html
https://www.scien-technews.com/
https://www.scien-technews.com/
https://www.scien-technews.com/2018/09/new-electro-optic-laser-pulses-100-times-faster.html
true
8514685892313606732
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy