Ultrashort laser pulses squeezed out of graphene

The Next Generation

Experiments suggest that the carbon sheets can produce beams in broad range of colours.

Graphene’s hexagonal lattice of carbon atoms can absorb laser light like a
sponge and then release it in bursts lasting just a fraction of a nanosecond.
Graphene, hailed as one of the thinnest, strongest and most conductive materials ever found, seems to have bagged one more amazing property. Experiments suggest that it can be used to create ultrashort laser pulses of any colour, owing to an ability to absorb light over a broad range of wavelengths.
The discovery could help researchers to build small, cheap and highly versatile ultrashort-pulse lasers, with potential applications ranging from micro-machinery to medicine.
Conventional ultrashort-pulse lasers use a material that absorbs light like a sponge and then releases it back in quick bursts, typically lasting for femtoseconds (one femtosecond is 10−15 seconds, or one millionth of a billionth of a second). These…

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