Efficient Color Conversion for Pulsed Lasers
Lasers that emit extremely brief, intense pulses of light have revolutionized industry and science. Pulsed lasers carry data across the ocean, help clinicians identify cancer cells, and provide the underlying technology for many eye surgeries. They also have applications in manufacturing, agriculture, energy, and scientific research. Unfortunately, current technology can directly generate only a few colors at the intensity and pulse brevity required, and often these colors are not appropriate for the task at hand. Nonlinear optical methods make it possible to shift lasers up or down the color spectrum, but tuning the laser to a particular color comes at a cost. Because of an optical phenomenon called back conversion, the process begins to reverse itself before the color shift is complete across the entire beam. The result is less light, limiting the laser’s utility.
With this CAREER award, Jeffrey Moses, Applied and Engineering Physics, is developing new nonlinear optical methods for light conversion with suppressed back conversion. Moses is investigating two novel concepts for nonlinear optical frequency conversion. The two concepts involve unusual propagation dynamics and have the potential to be widely applicable. The research will explore crystal- and fiber-based devices to demonstrate light conversion methods that exhibit unprecedented efficiency and cover a broad range of frequencies.
With these novel methods, Moses aims to expand scientific and industrial applications of laser light—including investigation of the human vision process; new platforms for quantum information processing; and new methods for controlling the electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of materials through irradiation with laser light.