Can the Shape of Crystals Change Laser Designs?

 These potassium diphosphate (KDP) crystals, which self-assemble in solution as hollow hexagonal rods, could find use in laser technology, particularly for fiber-optic communications. The scanning-electron image at right shows a crystal at higher resolution with scale added. Credit: L. Deng / NIST
The scanning-electron image of a Potassium diphosphate crystal  at higher resolution with scale added.
Credit: L. Deng / NIST

Research scientists at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and China’s Shandong University have published their research that smaller  microcrystals which are faster and cheaper to make outperform conventional crystals in laser technology. This may lead the way towards making lasers more practical tools.

Crystals are used to create light into energy for lasers. For their research, the scientific researcher grew Potassium diphosphate  KDP crystals in solution into small hexagonal-shaped hollow tubes and long rods that could be stacked. Coated, stackable microcrystal rods would be able to product more energy leading to more applications.

Read the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (US NIST)  article at https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2016/08/crystal-unclear-why-might-uncanny-crystal-change-laser-design

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