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Home > News > Saser - The Sonic Laser

July 1st, 2009

Saser - The Sonic Laser

Abstract:
Scientists from the University of Nottingham have produced a new type of acoustic laser device, called Saser. It is a sonic equivalent to the laser, capable of producing an intense beam of uniform sound waves on a nano scale. The new device could have significant and useful applications in a variety of fields, such as computing and imaging.

The Saser mimics the laser technology, but instead of light waves it employs sound waves, and instead of photons it sends phonons. In addition, instead of sending waves through an optical cavity, the sonic Saser travels through a tiny structure called a ‘superlattice'. This structure is made out of 50 super-thin sheets of two alternating semiconductor materials, Gallium Arsenide and Aluminum Arsenide. In order to achieve the exact effect, each layer must be as thin as air - just a few atoms thick. When the phonons are inside the superlattice, they bounce, multiply and eventually escape in the form of an ultra-high frequency photon beam.

Another application converts the Saser beam to terahertz electromagnetic waves. These can be used for medical imaging and security screening. In the nanotechnology field, high intensity sound waves can be used to change nanostructures' electronic properties; therefore, the Saser could be used as a high-speed terahertz clock, which could make the computers of the future a thousand times faster.

Source:
thefutureofthings.com

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