So, if I wasn’t even bigger of a lighting dork, here’s an article from Optics.org about a new yellow laser that has been discovered in Germany – a QD laser (or Quantum Dot, for the layperson) designed to produce a secondary harmonic in the yellow range. Aparently these QD lasers are being considered as pretty near perfect for high res spectroscopy. From the article at optics.org:
“By placing these lasers in an external Littrow configuration, we have shown that they are suitable for high-precision experiments, where the instantaneous linewidth of the laser is crucial,” Alexander Nevsky of Dusseldorf’s Institute for Experimental Physics told optics.org. “We also demonstrated direct nonlinear frequency conversion and generated high-power coherent tunable radiation in a previously unreachable range.”
External cavity diode lasers are commonlace on today’s market and boast properties such as a small footprint, low cost and large tuning range. However, some spectral ranges are difficult to access due to material limitations. InGaAs quantum wells for example are limited to emissions around 1100 nm. This is where InGaAs QD lasers come in, as they fill the gap between 1100 and 1300 nm and provide access to the yellow-orange-red region of the spectrum.
FYI: The article is pretty seriously intense with regard to information about Gallium substrates and nanometer ranges for some of the other QD lasers. Just, FYI. If you’re into that sort of stuff, check it out. I’m into light, which is why this is news!