Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diagnosis Just a Breath Away with New Laser

03.02.2014
University of Adelaide physics researchers have developed a new type of laser that will enable exciting new advances in areas as diverse as breath analysis for disease diagnosis and remote sensing of critical greenhouse gases.

Published in the journal Optics Letters, the researchers from the University’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing and the School of Chemistry and Physics describe how they have been able to produce 25 times more light emission than other lasers operating at a similar wavelength – opening the way for detection of very low concentrations of gases.

“This laser has significantly more power and is much more efficient than other lasers operating in this frequency range,” says Ori Henderson-Sapir, PhD researcher. “Using a novel approach, we’ve been able to overcome the significant technical hurdles that have prevented fibre lasers from producing sufficient power in the mid-infrared.”

The new laser operates in the mid-infrared frequency range – the same wavelength band where many important hydrocarbon gases absorb light.

“Probing this region of the electromagnetic spectrum, with the high power we’ve achieved, means we will be able to detect these gases with a high degree of sensitivity,” says Project Leader Dr David Ottaway. “For instance, it should enable the possibility of analysing trace gases in exhaled breath in the doctors’ surgery.”

Research has shown that with various diseases, minute amounts of gases not normally exhaled can be detected in the breath; for example, acetone can be detected in the breath when someone has diabetes.

Other potential applications include detection in the atmosphere of methane and ethane which are important gases in global warming.

“The main limitation to date with laser detection of these gases has been the lack of suitable light sources that can produce enough energy in this part of the spectrum,” says Dr Ottaway. “The few available sources are generally expensive and bulky and, therefore, not suitable for widespread use.”

The new laser uses an optical fibre which is easier to work with, less bulky and more portable, and much more cost effective to produce than other types of laser.

The researchers, who also include Jesper Munch, Emeritus Professor of Experimental Physics, reported light emission at 3.6 microns – the deepest mid-infrared emission from a fibre laser operating at room temperature. They have also shown that the laser has the promise of efficient emission across a large wavelength spectrum from 3.3-3.8 micron.

“This means it has incredible potential for scanning for a range of gases with a high level of sensitivity, with great promise as a very useful diagnostic and sensing tool,” says Dr Ottaway.

This research was supported by the State Government through the Premiers Science Research Foundation (PSRF).

Media Contact:
Dr David Ottaway
Senior Lecturer, School of Chemistry & Physics
Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 5165
Mobile: +61 430 325 099
david.ottaway@adelaide.edu.au
Mr Ori Henderson-Sapir
PhD Candidate
School of Chemistry & Physics
Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: +61 403 119 776
ori.henderson-sapir@adelaide.edu.au

Robyn Mills | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>