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Jun 24, 2020

Solid-State Laser Refrigeration of Nanoscale Sensors Achieved – Could Revolutionize Bio-Imaging and Quantum Communication

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, quantum physics

To the general public, lasers heat objects. And generally, that would be correct.

But lasers also show promise to do quite the opposite — to cool materials. Lasers that can cool materials could revolutionize fields ranging from bio-imaging to quantum communication.

In 2015, University of Washington researchers announced that they can use a laser to cool water and other liquids below room temperature. Now that same team has used a similar approach to refrigerate something quite different: a solid semiconductor. As the team shows in a paper published today (June 23, 2020) in Nature Communications, they could use an infrared laser to cool the solid semiconductor by at least 20 degrees C, or 36 F, below room temperature.

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