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Boston University

BioPhotonics
Apr 2011
To help develop a handheld electron beam-pumped semiconductor laser that would be the first to operate in the ultraviolet, Boston University professor Theodore Moustakas has received a $1.5 million, two-year subcontract from DARPA. Because of the laser’s ultralow emission wavelength and compact size, it could be exploited for a wide range of applications, including identification of biological and chemical substances used in potential terror attacks, and in point-of-care chemical analysis of blood and other bodily fluids. To develop the technology, Moustakas, a member of the university’s electrical and computer engineering department, and his co-investigators will fabricate UV laser materials and component devices. They plan to make a laser structure that, when bombarded with an electron beam, produces pairs of electrons and holes (positively charged particles) that recombine and produce the UV light.


GLOSSARY
quantum dots
Also known as QDs. Nanocrystals of semiconductor materials that fluoresce when excited by external light sources, primarily in narrow visible and near-infrared regions; they are commonly used as alternatives to organic dyes.  
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