A new group of scientists have successfully created a laser using proteins from the cells of fluorescent jellyfishes for the first time. The fluorescent proteins were grown artificially by genetically modified bacteria. This research is a significant advancement in the field of polariton lasers. The newly developed lasers are much more energy efficient and compact than presently used lasers. They have the potential to disrupt the current laser technologies and provide a new window for researches on optical computing and quantum physics.
Present polariton laser techniques require very low temperature to function. Organic materials are used in a majority of displays, OLED or Organic Light Emitting Diode being the most common among them. OLED displays do work at normal room temperatures, but they require picosecond light pulses to power them up.
The new polariton laser from the fluorescent proteins functions at room temperatures with the help of nanosecond pulses of light. Nano-second or a billionth of second pulses are about a thousand times easier to develop than the picoseconds or one trillionth of second pulses. This is actually a massive improvement and will make the new type of polariton laser easier to manufacture.
New Use of Fluorescent Proteins
Till now, the fluorescent protein molecules were used as a marker in the field of biology and medical diagnostics. This is the first time it is being attempted to use the proteins as a material. The research has proved that the molecular structures of the proteins do work in higher brightness levels necessary for a laser.
The revolutionary research is being conducted in Germany by experts from the Dresden University of Technology and the University of Wurzburg. According to one of the research fellows, the light emitting portion of each fluorescent protein molecule is well shielded to prevent interference from each other. This facilitates the lasers to work at longer pulses, which are much simpler to generate.
Mass Scale Availability
Right now, there are certain issues in mass scale implementation of this new laser. Their current excitation energy requirement is very high at room temperatures, although they ate much efficient in lower temperatures. The researchers are positive that there is a huge scope of improvement that should lower the energy threshold and make them a new standard in the industry.