ASU Scientists Created a White Laser that Could Potentially Light-up our Homes!

Growth procedure of multi-segment heterostructure nanosheets.

“Lasers” have been advancing the world of science and threatening good-guy movie characters ever since the 1960s, but we’re used to seeing them with a certain distinct color (SPOILERS; it’s red). However, it seems that a team of research scientists from Arizona State University have developed the world’s first white semiconductor laser that can emit light across the entire visible spectrum and provide the full range of different colors that are required to make white laser light.

Structural characterization of a multi-segment heterostructure nanosheet.

These new lasers are made from three sheets of parallel-held semiconductor, each just a few microns in thickness. Each sheet can emit one of the three elementary colors — red, green or blue — then, depending on how each color’s output is tuned, they can produce any other color within the spectrum. But once their entire output is combined (a’la Captain Planet), they can also produce white laser light that’s brighter than most LEDs that could theoretically be used to create new kinds of lighting and display systems thanks to  the relatively small hardware. We’ll just call it ‘Captain White Light’. NOT ‘Captain White Knight’; that’s a WHOLE different discussion not for this site.

Simultaneous multi-colour lasing from a single multi-segment heterostructure nanosheet.

White laser light could also be used as a viable replacement of LED light for visible light communication, often referred to as Li-Fi, where information is encoded at ultra-high frequency in the light that illuminates a a room.  The Arizona State research team suggests that the use of white laser light could enable the Li-Fi technique to be pushed even further at possibly 10 to 100 times faster than LEDs.

[Thanks Nature Nanotechnology & PhysOrg]

Header Image by Michal Vitek/Shutterstock

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