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Photonics Dictionary

blue diode laser

A blue diode laser is a type of semiconductor laser that emits light in the blue wavelength range of the electromagnetic spectrum, typically between 400 and 500 nanometers. Diode lasers are compact, efficient, and versatile sources of coherent light, and blue diode lasers specifically have found numerous applications across various fields.

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The operation of a blue diode laser is based on the principles of semiconductor physics. It typically consists of a semiconductor diode, often made of gallium nitride (GaN) or indium gallium nitride (InGaN), which is electrically pumped to generate light. When a forward bias voltage is applied to the diode, electrons and holes recombine within the semiconductor material, emitting photons with energies corresponding to the bandgap energy of the semiconductor. In the case of blue diode lasers, the bandgap energy corresponds to the blue wavelength range.

Blue diode lasers have become increasingly important in various technological applications, including:

Optical storage: Blue diode lasers are used in Blu-ray disc players and writers for reading and writing high-density data on optical discs. Their shorter wavelength allows for higher data storage density compared to red diode lasers used in DVDs.

Display technology: Blue diode lasers are utilized in laser-based display systems, such as laser projectors and laser TVs, where they serve as the light source for generating high-resolution images with vivid colors.

Biomedical applications: Blue diode lasers are employed in medical devices for procedures such as photodynamic therapy, fluorescence microscopy, and laser surgery due to their ability to excite certain fluorescent dyes and markers.

Materials processing: Blue diode lasers are used in material processing applications such as cutting, welding, and marking, particularly for materials that are more efficiently processed at shorter wavelengths.

Scientific research: Blue diode lasers are valuable tools in various research fields, including spectroscopy, atomic physics, and quantum optics, where precise control of laser wavelengths is required for experimental investigations.
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