Monday, 31 Aug, 2009 Technology

Latest Invention: The Smallest Laser in the World Created by US Researchers


The latest invention of American researchers is the laser that claims to be the smallest in the world. They managed to develop the laser by squeezing light into a space that is even tinier than a protein molecule. Their latest invention could be a significant breakthrough in the field of optical technology, making one step closer to nanolasers, which can be used to investigate and manipulate DNA. In addition, the laser can lead to the creation of super-fast computers and improved telecommunications.

The team of researchers was led by Professor Xiang Zhang. He mentioned that the plasmon laser constricts light into a gap that is only 5nm wide. An important step was the ability to detain light in a small space for a specific period of time required for light to stabilize into a "coherent" laser state, having all of its waves synchronized.

It is worth mentioning that plasmons are in fact wave-like movements of excited electrons on the surfaces of different metals. By connecting light to these oscillations, scientists managed to compress it further than usually, reports The Telegraph. More information on lasers and latest inventions you can find here at, please check the links at the bottom of the story.

Professor Zhang, from the University of California at Berkeley said: "Plasmon lasers represent an exciting class of coherent light sources capable of extremely small confinement. This work can bridge the worlds of electronics and optics at truly molecular length scales." Their latest invention was described in the online version of the journal Nature. The scientist who co-authored the research, Dr Thomas Zentgraf, from the University's Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centre, stated: "The advantages of optics over electronics are multifold. For example, devices will be more power efficient at the same time they offer increased speed or bandwidth."

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