Researchers build liquid nanoscale laser for the first time

Northwestern University – Scientists have developed a new method of manufacturing a liquid nanoscopic laser for the first time. A team of researchers from the Northwestern University and the Duke University conducted the experiment.  The researchers are confident of modulating the emission of properties in real time.

Prof. Teri Odom, Northwestern University has said that the liquid nanolaser is just a laser device fitted with a chip and not a laser pointer.  Odom, who is also the senior author of this study, further added that it is possible to change the color of the laser in real time. Whenever, the liquid dye present in the microfluidic channel is changed the cavity of the laser is automatically changed.

The study was published in the Nature Communications journal. The concept can be understood better by imagining a laser pointer that changes its color simply when the liquid inside is changed.  Thus, it does not require different laser pointers for every new color.

Using liquid gain materials is extremely beneficial in two ways. It readily dissolves the organic dye molecules in the solvents having a varying refractive index. It helps the dielectric environment to tune the nanoparticle array and the lasing wavelength. The fluid can be manipulated within the microfluidic channel because of the liquid form of the gain materials.

It makes the dynamic lasing emission tuning possible simply by allowing the liquid to flow with the different refractive indices. Apart from that due to the use of liquid environment, the presence of lasing-on-chip devices provides long-term stability as the gain molecules keep on repeatedly refreshing.

How Can This New Development Help?

Scientists are of the belief that this new technological development will eventually open the doors for the ‘lab on a chip’ medical diagnostics.  Since the laser can be tuned rapidly, it can produce different colors very quickly and conveniently. According to Odom, this study has made the researchers think about the new laser designs and understand the possible ways in which these designs can be prepared.