New Nano-Laser Could Improve Medical, Environmental, Computer Sciences
January 13, 2011 10:24 AM
The "Spaser" is a new nano-laser capable of being smaller than 100 nanometers
Tel Aviv University
researchers have created a nano-laser that could increase the possibilities in a number of fields such a medical and communications industries.
Professor David Bergman, study leader and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University, along with a team of researchers, have created the Spaser, which is a groundbreaking nano-laser that can be used in several different applications.
Up until this point, it was understood that an ordinary laser's physical length could not be less than one half of the wavelength of its light. Despite
ability to transmit digital TV signals and telephone connections around the world as well as strike tumors, which are both admirable advancements, the fact that the laser's physical length could only be so long has prevented it from being used in several industries.
, which is an acronym for "surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," has the ability to be as small as needed and can be used in future technologies. It utilizes surface plasma waves, which have a wavelength that can be smaller than the light it creates. According to Bergman, the Spaser is capable of being less than 100 nanometers long, which is significantly less than the wavelength of visible light.
"It rhymes with laser, but our Spaser is different," said Bergman. "Based on pure physics, it's like a laser, but much, much smaller.
One possible application for the Spaser is in the medical field. For instance, a microscope based on the Spaser could be 10 times more powerful and sensitive than
. The technology could go as far as developing a microscope that can show genetic base pairs in DNA.
Another application that could incorporate the use of Spaser technology is computer/electronic technology. The Spaser could allow computers and other electronics to function at speeds "100 times greater" than anything we have today. The Spaser could do this because it uses light instead of electrons to communicate.
Yet another proposed application would be more efficient
solar energy collectors
Bergman and his fellow researchers are convinced that the Spaser will surpass any laser used today, and will be a crucial part of the future of nanotechnologies. Bergman already patented the theory in 2003, but is now working to commercialize the Spaser.
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