Addition of little impurity resulted in shining nanolasers

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have enhanced the functional performance of minute lasers by supplementing impurities in an experiment that would be vital to the introduction of cost-effective sensors, computing, and rapid internet.

Scientist Tim Burgers added zinc atoms to lasers of one hundredth diameter equivalent to human hair. The lasers were crafted of gallium arsenide which is a material utilized on a large scale in smartphones and other types of electrical devices.

“Typically you would not even consider searching for light from nano-crystals made of gallium arsenide – we were, on the initial basis, added zinc just to enhance the electronic conductivity,” says Mr. Burgers, a Ph.D. student at the Australian National University’s Research School of Engineering and Physcis.

“It was by chance that I ended up checking for light emission that I expected we were onto something.”

Gallium arsenide is one of the common substances that is utilized in smartphones, lasers, light-emitting diodes or LEDs and smartphones. But it is quite tricky to perform with the materials at the nanoscale. It is because the substance needed a surface layering before it can generate light.

Conventional research works done by ANU researchers reveals the ways to fabricate adequate coatings. The novel result supplements such successes by enhancing the amount of light produced under the nanostructure, says the research group head, Professor Chennupati Jagadish, expert from the ANU Research School of Engineering and Physics Sciences.

“It is both an interesting and lucrative discovery that opens up novel avenues to further study the other nanostructures with improved light emission efficacy. With this, it would be possible to further reduce the size of the lasers without the need of other external support. It is also expected that besides being supportive in enhanced light emission technique, the results can also be used in other applications for much improved results. We are trying to conduct the experiment with other materials also, to verify that whether others can deliver equally better results, or whether it is the best that we have.”

Conclusion – Mr. Burges reveals that the adding of an impurity into gallium arsenide, which is a process known as doping, we can enhance the light emission to a great extent. “The doped gallium arsenide has a highly short lifespan as a carrier that may extend to just only a few picoseconds. It implies that it would be ideal to use the material in high speed electrical devices.” He also says that “the doping has truly given such nano-lasers a great performance edge.” It is not to be seen that in which other departments or applications, the research is going to give profitable results.