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Researcher investigates new developments in laser and sensor technology

Scientists hope that research being conducted by Oana Malis, assistant professor of physics, will create lasers that work at currently inaccessible wavelengths.

Funded by a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation as well as a Cottrell College Science Award of $44,244 from the Research Corporation, Malis is looking for new materials that would allow laser light to be generated in ranges that are not currently accessible.

What does that mean? Think of a laser pointer. That’s a visible laser. “Technologically, there’s interest in creating lasers that work at any wavelength,” Malis explained. “Why? Because these lasers could be used for sensing, to detect environmental conditions in a building, let’s say.” Malis is particularly interested in how the optical properties of gallium nitride, a compound semiconductor material, could be used.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08