Raman Optical Amplifiers

Early lasers “pumped” ruby rods with light from flash tubes creating a photon cascade that eventually produced a beam of coherent light. Recently, lasers have been developed that can produce a coherent beam of light from a silicon chip. Raman lasers are a particular type of silicon lasers. Simulations done on supercomputers have shown that it is feasible to boost raman amplication into a high power range and at a lower cost.

Smaller and cheaper but 300 times more intense – [nanowerk.com]

A team of scientists from the Instituto Superior Tecnico in Lisbon, Imperial College London, and the Universities of St Andrews, Lancaster and Strathclyde as well as STFC’s Central Laser Facility staff have demonstrated the feasibility of a groundbreaking method called Raman amplification which can take long laser pulses and compress them to 1000 times shorter, but with intensities 300 times greater. This means that current very expensive and complex laser set-ups could eventually be replaced with smaller and more cost effective systems. This would make many technologies, including methods used to develop x-rays which rely on lasers, far more accessible and easier to mass-produce.

Raman Amplifiers – [rp-photonics.com]

A Raman amplifier is an optical amplifier based on Raman gain, which results from the effect of stimulated Raman scattering. The Raman-active medium is often an optical fiber, although it can also be a bulk crystal, a waveguide in a photonic integrated circuit, or a cell with a gas or liquid medium.

World’s First Cascaded Raman Silicon Laser – [youtube.com]

Intel Fellow Mario Paniccia takes us inside the Silicon Photonics Lab in Santa Clara, CA to describe another breakthrough from his team. Nature Photonics Magazine first published Intel’s Cascaded Raman Silicon Laser in late February 2008. This could help lead to compact, lower cost silicon lasers used in spectroscopy, sensing and medical devices, as well as used for measuring or detecting greenhouse gasses, methane gas and water vapor.

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