Elastic Material Acts as Laser
A team at the University of Freiburg in Germany and Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, has developed a laser based on a rubbery liquid crystal. Stretching the optically pumped material caused it to lase at different wavelengths, enabling the development of low-cost tunable lasers, possibly for display technologies.
The researchers impregnated cholesteric liquid crystal with a fluorescent dye that acts as the lasing medium. The liquid crystal is a photonic bandgap material that changes its properties as the pitch of the helical structures change when stress is applied.
A description of the device will be published in Advanced Materials.
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