When light is confined between two partially reflecting mirrors and amplified by some material in between them, the resulting beam can be extremely bright and of a single colour. This is the working principle of the laser, a tool used in all areas of modern life from the DVD player to the operating theatre.

Researchers at ETH Zurich led by David Norris, professor at the Optical Materials Engineering Laboratory, and Prof. Dimos Poulikakos, professor at the Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies, have developed a miniature device that applies the same principle to so-called surface plasmons. The electromagnetic waves created by such a surface plasmon laser, or “spaser”, can be focused much more tightly than light, which makes them interesting both for fundamental research and for technical applications such as sensing.

 

Read more at https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2017/10/laser-like-beams.html

Author: AOLab
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