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Blue Femtosecond Laser Implemented with Group-III Nitrides: Femtoblue


The overall target of the FemtoBlue project is an ultrafast semiconductor laser diode that is capable of producing femtosecond optical pulses in the blue and violet spectral range. Such a miniature femtosecond laser is a photonic component that can meet the requirements of various ICT based/related applications including biomedical diagnostic equipment, optical combs, synchronization (time/frequency transfer) and entangled photon pairs generation for quantum communications.

This is a broad spectrum of applications that is not addressable by semiconductor picosecond gain-switched lasers and which requires bulky laboratory installations with solid-state mode-locked lasers (eg a Ti:Sapphire laser with a second harmonic generator).

The driving concept of FemtoBlue objectives and its targeted practical outcome is a femtosecond laser diode in the violet-blue optical spectrum that will enable lower cost and portable implementations addressing the existing and new applications requiring or benefiting from femtosecond optical pulses.

The concept of a blue femtosecond semiconductor laser diode (FemtoBlue) is inspired by the growing impact of emerging device technologies based on GaN/InGaN alloys combined with the proven approaches to generate ultrashort optical pulses in the near-infrared spectral range that have been developed for conventional GaAlAs and InGaAsP alloy systems used in optical communications.

A perfect match between the optical emission spectrum of wide-bandgap nitride alloys and the absorption spectrum in a majority of organic components indicates that the main application field for such ultrafast GaN/InGaN lasers and hence their possible major impact is related to bio-sensing technologies and medical applications, such as autofluorescence diagnostic (eg in endoscopy).

The research has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013, Future and Emerging Technologies - FET) under grant agreement no 238556.

The following institutions form the Consortium

Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (CSEM) - Project coordinator

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF)

Cambridge University (UCAM)

PN Lebedev Physical Institute (LPI)

Technische Universitat Berlin (TUB)

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