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Blue Laser Source Reported

Photonics.com
Jan 2008
POHANG, South Korea, Jan. 10, 2008 -- The "first blue laser light source" of a particular kind has been developed in South Korea, reported the digital English-language version of Chosunilbo, the country's daily newspaper, Wednesday.

A team led by O'dae Kwon, a professor of electrical engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech), made the announcement Tuesday.

The light source uses a semiconductor like LEDs but consumes less electricity. Kwon told Photonics.com that "in general, lasers emit light hundreds to thousands of times faster than LEDs and do not face light extraction problems of LEDs. Light left unextracted in the LED cavity causes device heating problems. LEDs may use roughened surfaces, which cause electrical and material problems."

Kwon said the LED semiconductor diode already performs several times better than incandescent light and lasts semi-permanently, and is being widely tipped as a next-generation light source. The blue laser light differs from LED in that it releases coherent light, he added. 

"An effective donut-shaped cavity is formed out of the blue LED semiconductor film sandwiched in hybrid mirror structures, which means a helix laser light mode is generated in a 3-D whispering cave instead of Rayleigh's 2-D whispering gallery, emitting blue laser light in 3-D but surface-normal dominant fashion," Kwon added. "It also starts lasing at much lower threshold current, with no problem of heating-related troubles up to 150 degrees."

Having developed a red laser light source last year, the team has now made it possible to produce laser light in blue colors (480 nm), Kwon said. By applying yellow fluorescent materials to the blue laser light, white light for lighting can also be produced.

Kwon said the team plans to work with capable businesses to commercialize the technologies.

The research was sponsored by Samsung Electronics and LG Innotek and will be presented at a lecture, "2-D whispering gallery vs. 3-D whispering cave" (paper 6872-23 of conference 6872), Jan. 22 from 9:20 a.m.-9:45 a.m. during the LASE symposium at SPIE's Photonics West 2008, to be held Jan. 19-24 at the San Jose Convention Center.

For more information, visit: spie.org/x13198.xml


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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