Transforming Infrared Into Visible Light

Red laser impinging onto the appearing cluster, inducing a glow and the emission of a white-light laser (Source: N. W. Rosemann)

Red laser impinging onto the appearing cluster, inducing a glow and the emission of a white-light laser (Source: N. W. Rosemann)

A team at the University of Marburg in Germany has developed a compound that can transform near-infrared light into broad­band white-light, offering a cheap, efficient means to produce visible light. The emitted light is also ex­ceedingly directional, a desirable quality for devices like micro­scopes that require high spatial resolution, or for applications with high throughput, such as projection systems.

Nils Wilhelm Rosemann and colleagues designed their compound of tin and sulfur, and with a diamondoid-like structure, then coating this scaffolding with organic ligands. When a laser directs near-infrared light into the compound, the structure of the compound alters the wave­length of the light through a non-linear inter­action process, producing light at wave­lengths that are visible to the human eye.

The researchers note that the warm, white-colored light that’s emitted is very similar to a standard tungsten-halogen light source (2856 K), and can be adjusted based on levels of excitation via the laser. This deve­lopment could open up new routes for advanced directed illu­mination techno­logies, especially since the materials used in this system are cheap, readily available, and easily scalable. (Source: AAAS)

Reference: N. W. Rosemann et al.: A highly efficient directional molecular white-light emitter driven by a continuous-wave laser diode, Science 352, 1301, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf6138

Link: Optics & Laser Spectroscopy group (S. Chatterjee), Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, Germany

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