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Title:Structure of light
Author(s):Dhingra, Pankul
Quantum Optics
Abstract:Is it not fascinating when engineering materials on an atomic scale yields macroscopic observables imageable through a smartphone? University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a historical legacy in semiconductor lasers and light-emitting diodes used today in fiber-optic communications, medicine, surgery, optical storage and recently detecting gravitational waves (LIGO). A laser is an intricate device requiring quantum mechanical calculations, precise material growth optimized to the scale of atomic layers, and meticulous device fabrication, all working together in harmony. The image shows my first working semiconductor laser that I designed, grew, and fabricated at Holonyak Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. The picture follows >200 failed attempts finally leading to nearly a world record device. While the light inside the laser is generated as visible photons, the far-field structure of light we observe on a wall is a wave interference pattern, a reminder of the wave-particle duality of light. The laser shown comprises a thin 7 nm semiconductor layer capable of generating light power >100 mW, enough to burn a matchstick if focused to a spot! I plan to integrate visible lasers on silicon substrates for low-cost silicon photonics platforms paving the way for applications like integrated optogenetics, biophotonic sensing, and quantum optics.
Issue Date:2021
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Pankul Dhingra
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-04-12

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