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Proud moment for IIT Madras! 1st time ever, its researchers generate lasers from carrots
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) researchers have demonstrated the possibilities of generating biocompatible lasers from carrots which has immense potential applications in scientific and industrial research on bio-imaging, optical spectroscopy and sensing.
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) researchers have demonstrated the possibilities of generating biocompatible lasers from carrots which has immense potential applications in scientific and industrial research on bio-imaging, optical spectroscopy and sensing. This process was first discovered by CV Raman, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930.
The IIT-Madras researchers say the system is robust and reliable, with good and linear response to temperature. Being completely natural and fully biocompatible, this system can be used with other bio-entities for their sensing based on the proposed laser. Lasers are ubiquitous sources of light with extraordinary properties such as a high degree of directionality and sharpness. They are indispensable in a dazzling range of products and technologies including communication, lithography, medicine, military operations, scientific research, engineering, displays, and data storage, say researchers.
In this case, a particular class of lasers called ‘random lasers’ have been demonstrated in carrots where a Raman process plays a central role along with the cellulose network.
“Organic bio-pigments like carotenoids found in carrots and porphyrins found in chlorophyll are interesting optically active media because of their visible light absorption properties. Although the fluorescence quantum yield of carotenoids is much less compared to standard organic laser dyes, the vibrational spectra can be obtained even with extremely low concentrations of carotenoids. The Research team naturally chose carotenoid, as a possible lasing source," said Sivarama Krishnan, researcher at IIT-Madras.
The Research was undertaken by a team comprising of C Vijayan, Physics Department, Sivarama Krishnan, and Venkata Siva Gummaluriof IIT Madras. Carrots, in addition to having carotenoids, also have cellulose fibers, that contribute to multiple scattering of photons and resultant optical amplification for Raman random lasing, they say.
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