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Thirty lasers act as one to shine a powerful light

The date of: 2021-09-27
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An array of 30 lasers that acts as a single light source represents a key step towards the development of large-scale, high-powered lasers on a microchip1.

Microchip lasers are tiny devices found in items ranging from computer mice to mobile phones. The power emitted by a single such laser is low. Arrays of lasers are typically more powerful than individual ones, but it has been difficult to produce an array of chip-based lasers that emit light waves that oscillate in step. Such synchronized, or ‘coherent’, light is a key property of a laser beam.

Mordechai Segev at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, Sebastian Klembt at the University of Würzberg in Germany and their colleagues have now demonstrated an array of chip-based lasers that behaves as a single coherent light source. The scientists created a platform that forces many chip-based lasers to act as one. They used micrometre-sized cylindrical lasers that stand vertically and emit light from their tops, like flaming candles.

The team found that the light waves generated by a 30-laser array all have the same wavelength and interfere with each other, showing that they are coherent.

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