Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Nanotube Coating Enables Novel Laser Power Meter

11.05.2009
The U.S. military can now calibrate high-power laser systems, such as those intended to defuse unexploded mines, more quickly and easily thanks to a novel nanotube-coated power measurement device developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The new laser power meter, tested at a U.S. Air Force base last week, will be used to measure the light emitted by 10-kilowatt (kW) laser systems. Light focused from a 10 kW laser is more than a million times more intense than sunlight reaching the Earth.

Until now, NIST-built power meters, just like the lasers they were intended to measure, were barely portable and operated slowly. The new power meter is much smaller—about the size of a crock pot rather than a refrigerator. It also features a new design that enables it to make continuous power measurements.

A key innovation is the use of a sprayed-on coating of carbon nanotubes—tiny cylinders made of carbon atoms—which conduct heat hundreds of times better than conventional detector coating materials.

In the new power meter, laser light is absorbed in a cone-shaped copper cavity, where a spinning mirror directs the light over a large area and distributes the heat uniformly. The cavity is lined with a NIST-developed coating made of multiwalled carbon nanotubes held together by a potassium silicate (water glass) binder, and surrounded by a water jacket. The coating absorbs light and converts it to heat. The resulting rise in water temperature generates a current, which is measured to determine the power of the laser.

NIST has developed and maintained optical power standards for decades. In recent years, NIST researchers have experimented with a variety of coatings made of nanotubes because they offer an unusual combination of desirable properties, including intense black color for maximum light absorption. Designing a detector to collect and measure all of the power from a laser intended to significantly alter its target is a significant challenge. The new power meter uses the latest version of NIST’s nanotube coating,* which absorbs light efficiently, is more stable than some conventional coatings such as carbon black, and resists laser damage as effectively as commercial ceramic coatings.

Among other test results, NIST has found that multiwalled carbon nanotubes perform better than single-walled nanotubes. Researchers are continuing to seek nanotube formulas that are durable and easy to apply, like enamel paint, but have even higher damage thresholds than today’s coatings.

NIST’s nanotube coating technology already has been transferred to industry for use in commercial products. Development of the new power meter was funded by the Air Force.

* C.L. Cromer, K.E. Hurst, X. Li and J.H. Lehman. Black optical coating for high-power laser measurements from carbon nanotubes and silicate. Optics Letters. January 15, 2009, Vol. 34, No. 2

Laura Ost | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht New manufacturing process for SiC power devices opens market to more competition
14.09.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>