Scientific team headed by Alfyorov makes another break-through in laser physics

Nobel Prize Winner Zhorez Alfyorov and his team have made another break-through in laser physics.

The Russian scientists have recently completed a research programme called the Fundamental Research of the Formation and Properties of Heterostructures with Quantum Dots and the Development of Lasers on Their Basis. This research programme was given a State Award the other day.

The scientists proved it was possible to grow flawless crystals with foreign particles inside. Until recently, such an experiment was generally considered impossible.

Alfyorov said that scientists used to be obliged to control every stage of a process to grow laser crystals. Now the situation is different - the necessary structure is growing all by itself.

According to him, this will allow scientists to improve radically the properties of semiconductor devices, as well as the temperature stability of laser diodes and decrease the threshold current necessary to launch the generation.

Physicists believe that quantum dot lasers will soon have a wide industrial application.

For instance, Russian scientists used the effect of quantum dot self-organisation to create the crystal for a vertical laser where light rays run vertically, not along the surface of the plate. The vertical laser operates like a cheap light-emitting diode, but with high-grade spectrum, narrow directional pattern and top effectiveness. An ultraviolet laser can also be vertical, which is needed for optical recording.

Alfyorov's research, for which he was awarded with the Nobel Prize, are now used in fiber optics, mobile telephones and in dozens of other devices of our every-day life.

The new research programme allows in particular to work out new-generation optoelectronic devices.