Navigation Links
MASER power comes out of the cold

Scientists demonstrate, for the time, a solid-state "MASER" capable of operating at room temperature, paving the way for its widespread adoption as reported today in the journal Nature.

MASER stands for Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Devices based on this process (and known by the same acronym) were developed by scientists more than 50 years ago, before the first LASERs were invented. Instead of creating intense beams of light, as in the case of LASERs, MASERs deliver a concentrated beam of microwaves.

Conventional MASER technology works by amplifying microwaves using hard inorganic crystals such as ruby, this process is known as "masing". However, the MASER has had little technological impact compared to the LASER because getting it to work has always required extreme conditions that are difficult to produce; either extremely low pressures, supplied by special vacuum chambers and pumps, or freezing conditions at temperatures close to absolute zero ( -273.15C), supplied by special refrigerators. To make matters worse, the application of strong magnetic fields has often also been necessary, requiring large magnets.

Now, the team from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Imperial College London have demonstrated masing in a solid-state device working in air at room temperature with no applied magnetic field. Today's breakthrough means that the cost to manufacture and operate MASERs could be dramatically reduced, which could lead to them becoming as widely used as LASER technology.

The researchers suggest that room-temperature MASERs could be used to make more sensitive medical instruments for scanning patients, improved chemical sensors for remotely detecting explosives; lower-noise read-out mechanisms for quantum computers and better radio telescopes for potentially detecting life on other planets.

Dr Mark Oxborrow, co-author of the study at NPL, says: "For half a century the MASER has been the forgotten, inconvenient cousin of the LASER. Our design breakthrough will enable MASERs to be used by industry and consumers."

Professor Neil Alford, co-author and Head of the Department of Materials at Imperial College London, adds: "When LASERs were invented no one quite knew exactly how they would be used, and yet the technology flourished to the point that LASERs have now become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. We've still got a long way to go before the MASER reaches that level, but our breakthrough does mean that this technology can literally come out of the cold and start becoming more useful."

Conventional MASER technology using hard inorganic crystals such as ruby, only works when the ruby is kept at a very low temperature. The team in today's study have discovered that a completely different type of crystal, namely p-terphenyl doped with pentacene, can replace ruby and replicate the same masing process at room temperature.

As a curious twist, the pentacene dopant turns the otherwise colourless p-terphenyl crystal an intense reddish pink making it look just like ruby!

The twin challenges the team currently face are getting the MASER to work continuously, as their first device only works in pulsed mode for fractions of a second at a time. They also aim to get it to operate over a range of microwave frequencies, instead of its current narrow bandwidth, which would make the technology more useful.

In the long-term, the team have a range of other goals including the identification of different materials that can mase at room temperature while consuming less power than pentacene-doped p-terphenyl. The team will also focus on creating new designs that could make the MASER smaller and more portable.


Contact: David Lewis
National Physical Laboratory

Related medicine news :

1. Power without the cord
2. Power generation technology based on piezoelectric nanocomposite materials developed by KAIST
3. Moving 3D computer model of key human protein is powerful new tool in fight against cancer
4. Grb2 holds powerful molecular signaling pathway in check
5. Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Offers Its Services to Chemical Plant or Power Plant Workers Living with Mesothelioma Including Naming the Best Mesothelioma Attorneys
6. A Void In The Independent Pharmacy Industry Leads to Independent Rx Consulting, Powered by OurHelix
7. Its Not So Much the Heat, Its the Lack of Power
8. Brain power shortage
9. In children born with severe heart defect, surgical management has little effect on neuro outcomes
10. Early treatment improves outcomes in rare, often undiagnosed form of encephalitis
11. Intensivists at night improve patient outcomes in some ICUs, says Pitt/UPMC team
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This ... the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer ... they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights ... American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss ... plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the ... closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic ... the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ... will take whatever measures required to build a strong ... which is currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current ... Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in ... understand, not only by the Company, but shareholders and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation , ... Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard Medical ... Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and the ... five finalists of Lyme Innovation , the ... 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), ... is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, ... , Inc. Patients are no longer limited to ... EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... in the comfort of her own home. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: