Nowadays Russian scientists have developed a totally new way of the emission spectrum narrowing of a conventional diode laser, similar to a laser pointer. Thus, their tool is able to replace more complicated and very expensive single-frequency lasers, and consequently, allow manufacturing of small chemical analyzers that can be used for smartphones, cheap lidars for self-driving cars, security and structural health monitoring systems etc.
Their initial prototype shows that now it is possible to create a cheap narrow-linewidth laser that is more efficient and has a compact size comparing to a single-frequency laser system. Herewith, the device with no additional modification can be used for generating of optical frequency combs that are the key component of a spectroscopic chemical analyzer.
Moreover, the fields of diode laser application include practically all areas of human life, for example, laser eye surgery, laser sights, fiber optic communication, satellite navigation, accurate time data transfer, and the radial velocity method for detecting extrasolar planets, even spectroscopy whose main option is the precise measurement of chemical composition.
To be precise, the method of optical frequency comb is based on laser spectroscopy where a laser system device creates optical radiation at numerous stable frequencies. Thus, its function includes the accurate measurement of light frequency similar to a ruler and it is also able to make spectrometric measurements.
Nevertheless, not every laser systems are appropriate to pump optical frequency combs in a microresonator because they have to be both very powerful and monochromatic that means the ability of light emitting to fall into narrow frequency band. The solution is the use of cheap non-monochromatic diode lasers with additional devices – external resonator or a diffraction grating to make the laser linewidth narrower but in this case diode laser system stops being cheap and compact.
The solution is the use of diode lasers with microresonators generating optical frequency combs. As a result, it is possible to save the same cost, laser power, and compact size, and at the same time, the microresonator increases the laser monochromaticity by almost 1 billion.
Today small inexpensive diode laser systems are available for the whole optical spectrum, and moreover, they enlarge their application fields. For example, one of them is telecommunication where the bandwidth of the fiber optic network is highly important. Also, diode lasers will be quite useful in sensor manufacturing, for example, reflectometers used in security and monitoring systems for the detection of a fiber optic cable break. Finally, the demand for this type of diode laser will continually increase.
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