Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Sense for Infrared Light

19.01.2016

Laser physicists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics developed a measuring system for light waves in the near-infrared range.

Those who want to explore the microcosm need exact control over laser light. Only with its help is it possible to explore electron motion and to influence their behavior. Now, scientists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU) have developed a measuring system that is able to determine laser pulses with a wide bandwidth in the infrared spectrum of light precisely.


Through a lithium niobate crystal the laser physicists generate a few femtoseconds only infrared pulse. The waveform of the infrared light can be analyzed thoroughly by the researchers.

Picture: Thorsten Naeser

In the infrared wavelength range as short as 1200 nanometers this was only possible with the help of complex vacuum systems until now. The new system can be used for the precise generation of attosecond-duration light bursts for the exploration of atomic systems, as well as for the controlled dynamics of electrons in crystals.

Light is an elusive medium. Reaching close to 300.000 kilometers per second, light is not just incredibly fast, its electromagnetic field is quite a flutter: it oscillates roughly one million billion times per second. In recent years, however, researchers succeed in watching these oscillations more precisely and even controlling them. With this, light is an ultra fast tool for exploring the microcosm.

Infrared light pulses a few femtoseconds in duration serve in this context as a reliable light source for the generation of attosecond-light-pulses. With the help of attosecond-long light bursts, one is able to “photograph” electrons. On the other hand, one is also able to stimulate electronic motion in molecules and crystals with the help of infrared laser pulses and thereby change their electronic properties within femtoseconds. One femtosecond is one millionth of one billionth of a second; an attosecond is a thousand times shorter.

The better you know the form of the infrared laser-pulses, the more precise the experiments that can give us information about the phenomena inside crystals can be performed. Now laser physicists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics around Dr. Nicholas Karpowicz and Sabine Keiber at the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximillians University Munich have developed a measuring system, based on the electro-optic sampling technique developed for the far and middle infrared, that allows analyzing the exact waveform of light waves in the infrared range down to 1200 nanometers wavelength.

Within this measuring system, another five-femtosecond laser pulse scans the electromagnetic field of the infrared pulse. “A laser pulse consists of a coherent oscillation of the electromagnetic field” Nicholas Karpowicz says. “With this technology we are now not only able to define the envelope enclosing these oscillations, but also to directly analyze the shape of each of them.” In this wavelength range down to 1200 nanometers such a precise analysis was only possible in the context of an elaborate experimental system until now.

With this newly-acquired control over the near infrared pulses, the possibilities for exploring the microcosm broaden. This analysis method may also support further technological development in the field of data transmission with light. Since information transfer often uses a light wavelength of roughly 1550 nanometers, the precise measuring system presents opportunities to better understand light-matter interaction in the important telecom band. The system can also be used in basic research. The technique is able to improve the time-resolved infrared-spectroscopy for the examination of biological and chemical samples. Thorsten Naeser

Original publication:

Sabine Keiber, Shawn Sederberg, Alexander Schwarz, Michael Trubetskov, Volodymyr Pervak, Ferenc Krausz and Nicholas Karpowicz
Electro-optic sampling of near-infrared waveforms
Nature Photonics, 18. Januar 2016, doi: 10.1038/NHPHOTON.2015.269

Contact:

Dr. Nicholas Karpowicz
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Hans-Kopfermann-Str. 1
85748 Garching, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)89 / 32 905 - 689
E-mail: nicholas.karpowicz@mpq.mpg.de

Sabine Keiber
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Hans-Kopfermann-Str. 1
85748 Garching, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)89 / 32 905 - 658
E-mail: sabine.keiber@mpq.mpg.de

Dr. Olivia Meyer-Streng
Press & Public Relations
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)89 / 32 905 -213
E-mail: olivia.meyer-streng@mpq.mpg.de

Dr. Olivia Meyer-Streng | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
Further information:
http://www.mpq.mpg.de/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision
24.11.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond
23.11.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Lightning, with a chance of antimatter

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

A huge hydrogen generator at the Earth's core-mantle boundary

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Scientists find why CP El Niño is harder to predict than EP El Niño

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>