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Broadband Laser Aimed at Cancer Detection

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Covering a wide swath of the mid-infrared, a new system offers greater spectral sensitivity

By James F. Lowe, Web managing editor, [email protected]

Mid-infrared (MIR) light is rich with molecular "fingerprint" information that can be used to detect substances from atmospheric pollutants to cancer cells. While some lasers already operate in this region, enabling a variety of spectroscopy applications, their linewidth is relatively narrow, which limits the types of substances they can detect at any given moment. Now a team of researchers from Germany and Spain has developed a laser system with phase-coherent emission from 6.8 to 16.4 μm and output power of 0.1 W. That is broad and powerful enough, they said, to detect subtle...Read full article

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