Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First Random Laser Made of Paper-Based Ceramics

10.11.2016

Working with physicists from the University of Rome, a team led by Professor Cordt Zollfrank from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) built the first controllable random laser based on cellulose paper in Straubing. The team thereby showed how naturally occurring structures can be adapted for technical applications. Hence, materials no longer need to be artificially outfitted with disordered structures, utilizing naturally occurring ones instead.

Material synthesis that is inspired by biology is an area of research at TUM’s Chair of Biogenic Polymers at the Straubing Center of Science. It utilizes models from nature and biogenic materials to develop new materials and technologies.


The team used conventional laboratory filter paper as a structural template due to its long fibers and the stable structure.

Photo: Institute for Complex Systems /Rome

The latest issue of the publication “Advanced Optical Materials” features a basic study by a joint team from Straubing and Rome who succeeded in “using a biological structure as a template for a technical random laser,” according to scientist Dr Daniel Van Opdenbosch.

Two components are necessary for a laser: First of all, a medium which amplifies light. And secondly, a structure which retains the light in the medium. A classic laser uses mirrors to order and shine light in a single direction in a targeted, uniform fashion.

... more about:
»Ceramics »Laser »Polymers »Random Laser »biogenic »waves

This also takes place uniformly in the microscopic structure of a random laser, but in different directions. Although the development of the random laser is still in its infancy, in the future it could result in lower-cost production. This is because random lasers have the advantage that they are direction-independent and function with multiple colors, just to name a few benefits.

Disordered structure deflects light in all directions

“The prerequisite for a random laser is a defined degree of structural chaos on the interior,” Van Opdenbosch explained. The light in a random laser is therefore scattered at all manner of angles along random paths, which are determined by an irregular structure in the interior of the medium.

The team led by Professor Zollfrank from the Chair of Biogenic Polymers in Straubing used conventional laboratory filter paper as a structural template. “Due to its long fibers and the resulting stable structure, we deemed it to be suitable for this purpose,” said Van Opdenbosch.

In the laboratory, the paper was impregnated with tetraethyl orthotitanate, an organometallic compound. When it is dried and the cellulose burned off at 500 degrees Celsius, it leaves behind the ceramic titanium dioxide as residue — the same substance generally used in sunblock to provide protection from the sun.

“This effect in sunblock is based on titanium dioxide’s strong light scattering effect,” said Van Opdenbosch, “which we also utilized for our random laser.” And “our laser is ‘random’ because the light which is scattered in different directions due to the biogenic structure of the laboratory filter paper can also be scattered in the opposite direction,” he added, explaining the principle.

Random laser not that random after all

However, the light waves can still be controlled despite their random nature, as the team led by Claudio Conti of the Institute for Complex Systems in Rome discovered, with whom Daniel Van Opdenbosch and Cordt Zollfrank collaborated. With the help of a spectrometer, they were able to differentiate the various laser wavelengths generated in the material and localize them separately from one another.

Van Opdenbosch described the procedure: “The test setup used to map the samples consisted of a green laser whose energy could be adjusted, microscope lenses, and a mobile table which allowed the sample to be moved past. That way, our colleagues were able to determine that at different energy levels, different areas of the material radiate different laser waves.” In light of this analysis, it is possible to configure the laser in any number of ways and to determine the direction and intensity of its radiation.

This knowledge puts potential practical applications within reach. “Such materials could, for example, be useful as micro-switches or detectors for structural changes,” said Van Opdenbosch.

Publication:
Ghofraniha, Neda, Luca La Volpe, Daniel Van Opdenbosch, Cordt Zollfrank, and Claudio Conti: Biomimetic Random Lasers with Tunable Spatial and Temporal Coherence, Advanced Optical Materials, September 2016. doi:10.1002/adom.201600649.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adom.201600649/full

Contact

Technical University Munich
Straubing Center of Science
Chair of Biogenic Polymers
Professor Cordt Zollfrank
+49 (9421) 187 - 450
cordt.zollfrank@tum.de
http://www.wz-straubing.de

Dr. Daniel Van Opdenbosch
+49 (8161) 984 - 452
daniel.van-opdenbosch@tum.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/short/article/33517/

Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München

Further reports about: Ceramics Laser Polymers Random Laser biogenic waves

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht MEMS chips get metatlenses
21.02.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht International team publishes roadmap to enhance radioresistance for space colonization
21.02.2018 | Biogerontology Research Foundation

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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>