Nanolasers provide a wide range of new materials and technologies, from almost eternal monitors and televisions to invisibility cloak.
Modern displays can be produced on a flexible substrate and allowed to view the image from any angle, but their weak point is the short life of organic phosphors — picture fade, the colors are distorted in two or three years of operation. But if you replace the capricious on persistent organics in all respects inorganics, the computer monitors and screens of smartphones and tablets will be able to work much longer.
The first South Korean researchers have made this company — they constructed a full-color display based on the so-called "quantum dots." Quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals that fluoresce in different colors depending on their size. Asian scientists created four-inch display was still not too bright and is a demonstration model. How to increase the brightness? This problem is solved jointly
— Such a system will work as nanolaser. Here, the quantum dots are used as the active medium and the cavity is a metal nanoparticle, in which there are surface waves — plasmons. They are caused by collective oscillations of conduction electrons relative to the ions. Quantum dots are the energy donor for plasmon oscillations. Fashion electromagnetic oscillations arising in such nanolasers, corresponding to a wavelength of light plasmon resonance, which is determined by the type and shape of metal nanoparticles. And if you take a variety of metals, then nanolasers will be obtained in different colors: silver gives the blue and gold — green and copper — red, — says the head of the Laboratory of Physics of lasers IAE Alexander Plekhanov.
So far from Novosibirsk nanolasers managed to produce in the form of gold nanoparticle size of 10 nanometers, which is formed around a 6-nanometer silica shell filled with dye. Nanolasers placed in fine pores of the solid film the so-called "photonic crystal", which significantly reduces the lasing threshold and generates a directional radiation nanolasers. This structure can be compared with bee-cell dimensions of the order of ten nanometers. Before such nanolasers were prepared by scientists at the U.S. only in the liquid phase. But for the needs of IT-technologies needed is a solid film structures.
Monitor such nanolasers will have a distinct advantage over existing techniques — both in terms of reliability and durability, and brightness and image quality. However, in this microcosm of the possibilities of lasers does not end there.
— The unique feature of nanolaser is that its size is much smaller than the wavelength of light emitted by them. It is comparable to the size of the virus, and it allows you to take an important step forward in the field of biomedicine, where it can be used as a tracer in the study of individual cells or even individual molecules — explains the doctor of physical and mathematical sciences, Alexander Plekhanov.
Scientists hope that nanolasers can help in creating a new generation of ultra-fast nano-electronics, in which the light will replace the current. It also discusses the idea of using a system such nanolasers to create metamaterials whose properties have recently seemed impossible and contrary to the laws of physics. With their help, you can achieve the effect of "invisibility" — so when the light flows around the photonic crystal, as if no obstacle for him there, and the observer can not see anything. However, how to change our lives gadgets that are based on metamaterials, today we can only guess.
By the way
Scientists of the Novosibirsk Institute of Automation and Electrometry have created the world's longest (100-mile) fiber laser, allowing the creation of ultra long-haul fiber-optic communications. "Now every hundred kilometers should be put amplifier optical signal as it decays in a hundred times. This equipment requires service, which is expensive, and our technology can have a channel length of about 300 kilometers without repeaters," — says the Deputy Director of the Institute of Automation and Electrometry Sergey Babin. According to the journal Nature, this development is among the top ten world's best scientific results for the year 2012.