Australian researchers have discovered a method to manipulate laser light at a fraction of the price of current technology.
The invention, featured in Advanced Science, may help drive down costs in industries as diverse as telecom, medical diagnostics and consumer optoelectronics.
The research group, guided by Dr. Girish Lakhwani from the University of Sydney Nano Institute and School of Chemistry, has used cheap crystals, known as perovskites, to make Faraday rotators.
These manipulate light in a range of units throughout industry and science by altering a fundamental property of light. This provides scientists and engineers the ability to stabilize, block or direct light on demand.
Faraday rotators are used at the supply of broadband and other communication technologies, blocking mirrored light that may otherwise destabilize lasers and amplifiers.
They’re utilized in optical switches and fiber-optic sensors as well.
Thus far, the business standard for Faraday rotators has been terbium-based garnets. Dr. Lakhwani and colleagues at the Australian Research Facility of Excellence in Exciton Science have used lead-halide perovskites, which might show an inexpensive alternative.
The lead-halide perovskites applied by the research group are a class of materials which have been gaining a lot of recognition in the scientific community, because of a combination of excellent optical properties and low manufacturing costs.