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Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are using nanoparticles to build fiber lasers that are safer for the eyes and more efficient. The core of the laser’s silica fiber is doped with rare earth ions of holmium. With the aid of this dopant, the researchers were able to achieve an 85% level of efficiency with a laser operating at a wavelength of 2 µm, which is considered safer for the eyes than a traditional 1 µm wavelength.
Jas Sanghera, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory branch head for Optical Materials and Devices, holds up an optical fiber that will be used to produce eye-safer lasers at U.S. NRL. Courtesy of Jonathan Steffen/U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.
The particles of the nanopowder dopant…