First microwave laser to operate at room temperature
August 17, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
Scientists in the UK have developed the first solid-state MASER to operate at room temperature, paving the way for its widespread adoption.
The team have demonstrated pulse masing in a solid-state device working in air at room temperature with no applied magnetic field. This could dramatically reduce the cost to manufacture and operate a MASER, which could lead to them becoming as widely used as laser technology in a wide range of applications.
"For half a century the MASER has been the forgotten, inconvenient cousin of the laser. Our design breakthrough will enable MASERs to be used by industry and consumers," said Dr Mark Oxborrow, co-author of the study at NPL.
"When lasers were invented no one quite knew exactly how they would be used, and yet the technology flourished to the point that lasers have now become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. We've still got a long way to go before the MASER reaches that level, but our breakthrough does mean that this technology can literally come out of the cold and start becoming more useful," said Professor Neil Alford, co-author and Head of the Department of Materials at Imperial College London.All news
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