Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have done something incredible – they have showed the possibility of creating a working, biocompatible laser from a carrot, using a scientific process first discovered by renowned Indian scientist Sir CV Raman who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930! This breakthrough by IIT Madras researchers is the first-of-its-kind in the world.
Not only would the laser made from carrots be bio-friendly, but the system being developed is also robust, reliable and has a good and linear response to temperature.
This finding by the team could help science advance in the fields of scientific and industrial research on optical spectroscopy and sening.
Features of the bio-friendly lasers IIT Madras is developing from carrots:
- Natural and fully biocompatible system, which can be used with other bio-entities for their sensing based on the proposed laser
- Easy and safe to handle and use
- Robust and highly reliable since the lasing mode is fixed at a specific wavelength by Raman vibrational mode
- This ‘kitchen laser’ has very good and linear response for temperature which could be used for temperature sensing too
What is a laser and how does it work?
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, more commonly known as LASER, is one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century.
Lasers are ever-present sources of light with extraordinary properties such as a high degree of directionality and sharpness.
A laser is created when electrons in some special materials absorb energy and become ‘excited’. These electrons emit ‘particles of light’ or photons when they return to their original state. The photons are coherent, which makes the light emitted powerful and sharp.
These lasing materials are usually solid-state and semiconductor materials, such as Nd-YAG, which are expensive, and involve environmental issues during production and/or use.