World's first photonics crystal laser created

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A next generation semiconductor laser light source has been developed by Hamamatsu Photonics and Kyoto University’s Photonics and Electronics Science and Engineering Center in Japan. The watt-level photonics crystal laser, described in journal Nature Photonics, was shown to operate continuously at room temperature, generating a power output of 1.5W while maintaining a beam spread of less than three degrees.

The team of researchers also demonstrated the utility of the laser’s high brightness and high output by showing how it can burn through a substance through direct, lens-less irradiation. These results are a significant milestone for laser-based manufacturing in Japan, as they lay the groundwork for the future adoption of this new type of laser for laser excitation, wavelength conversion, biotechnology, analytical chemistry, and other applications.

Results of the group’s research have already been published in the electronic version of Nature Photonics, and will appear in the May 2014 issue of the publication. Portions of this research were supported by grants from the Japan Science and Technology Agency’s ACCEL programme and from the Photon Frontier Programme of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology.