Using the unique properties of diamonds to develop a new generation of laser is the latest trend in R&D. Diamonds based lasers would help to improve treatment of skin issues, diabetes related eye problems, pollution monitoring, smartphone manufacturing and aeronautical engineering.
The laser on the design has been developed by the University of Strathclyde, and is dubbed as the ‘ultra-versatile Raman Laser’. It is an innovation brought into the currently used Raman by using diamonds to produce light beams that have more power and a wide range of colors. The study was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
This is good news for the medical community which is looking to employ laser into routine procedures. This is because laser offers higher precision and accuracy as compared to conventional surgical tools. The technology has also been adopted by several healthcare professionals around the world to treat several kinds of ailments.
The distinguishing feature in the lasers developed by the Strathclyde Team is that they have been able to develop the first kind of ‘tuneable’ diamond lasers. The technology relies on the fact that diamond helps to produce yellow/orange light that is highly difficult to produce from conventional sources. This is beneficial for treatment of vascular lesions and it also minimizes damage to the surrounding tissue.
The other distinguishing technological feature is that it is the first one to operate continuously. Most of the current technology allows the laser to be used in pulses. Pulsed versions however creates acoustic disturbance. Smartphone manufacturers would be able to use diamond laser technology to improve their interface and IC fixing.
The ‘diamond’ generation of laser would be able to produce light waves that range from one extreme of UV part of the EM spectrum to the other extreme of IR region. Such capacity was lacking in existing technology.
One major difference between the existing technology and the diamond series is that the former ones have a limiting factor in the form of a lesser conducting material. The ability of the laser is restricted because the existing technology is only able to generate certain amount of heat.
However, diamond has a thermal conductivity that is enhanced by its unique strength, rigidity and optical properties. Therefore, the produce is to the full extent and in all possible colors.
This setup requires single crystal diamonds, so it’s cost effective as well. Also, the small size of the diamond would help in reducing the size of the laser. Existing lasers use crystals that are 3 to 6 cm long. This advancement would allow incorporating 2 to 6 mm long crystal which generates the same power.
The reduction in size allows them to be placed at points where space becomes a limiting factor. Aeronautical applications and surgical procedures involving sensitive areas are relevant examples.
Diamond based lasers would be beneficial for the small physical size and high functionality required for smartphones, printing setups and the interface manufacturing setups.
The technology community can spawn off various benefits by using the diamond based technology.