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Diamond Laser Group

Research in Diamond Optics

Research in the Diamond Laser Group at Macquarie University seeks to exploit the extraordinary optical and physical properties of diamond and similar materials. Owing to diamond’s high gain for stimulated scattering (Raman and Brillouin), outstanding thermal conductivity and broad optical transmission, diamond is very promising for realising miniature devices of high average output power and very wide wavelength range from the so-called terahertz region to the deep ultraviolet.

Diamond Lasers

Stimulated scattering in diamond enables it to lase almost any wavelength across its extremely large transparency range. Coupled with diamond's high thermal conductivity, beam converters or lasers at these wavelengths with high power and brightness. We are investigating lasers providing output across the electromagnetic spectrum to address applications in environmental sensing, health, industry and security. In 2018 we discovered Brillouin laser action in diamond, which provides an additional pathway to extending the boundaries of operation. It possesses much higher gain than any other material as well a characteristically high speed of sound that provides a uniquue advantages for RF synthesis in the mm-wave band. We are investigating are a range of devices at various wavelengths across, with single and multimode output, and in temporal formats from cw to ultrafast pulses. 

Surface Structuring of Diamond

Many of the same properties that make diamond interesting for applications in photonics, electronics, and micro-mechanics create severe difficulties in shaping the material into the desired form. Our research explores new methods of manipulating diamond surfaces by using a recently-discovered 2-photon technique of carbon atom removal. This optical technique, which is rather peculiar amongst other optical material interactions, is highly promising for enable diamond surfaces to be structured and functionalized with unprecedented precision. Our research on this topic involves investigations into understanding the underlying physics behind carbon ejection and its applications in creating novel diamond nano-devices.   

Power Scaling Diamond Lasers

Quasi-cw operation has enabled investigation of cw conversion at greatly elevated powers. Preliminary experiments have demonstrated 1.2 kW TEM00 beam power, which is already approaching the levels of conventional high power laser such as fibre and disk lasers. The on-time burst duration of 0.1 ms is long compared to the time needed to establish steady-state temperature gradients in the diamond crystal and thus these results are also indicative of what might be achieved for true-cw operation. Improved efficiency and further power scaling is anticipated with cavity optimization and increased pump power. We exploring methods for pumping diamond using low coherence sources such as laser diodes or via beam combination.

On-chip Diamond Waveguide Devices

Waveguides have the potential for efficient, low threshold and compact frequency converters that can be integrated into on-chip devices. We are investigating techniques to fabricate novel waveguide structures in these materials using a variety of laser, plasma and mechanical polishing techniques. Our research currently focusses on developing low threshold devices with wide wavelength range which have exciting prospects for applications in quantum computing, optofluidics, biophotonics and sensing.