Re: Breakthrough in Lasers, With Many Potential New Uses, Reported

From: John Clark (
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 08:59:27 MDT

 <> Wrote:

> << Organic lasers. Neato. And Completo. >>
> I looked at the short article. I am not so sure the writer conveyed how these
> benzene beauties will enhance technological prowess? Is there any
> intermediate term benefit that you see coming from this?

Well, plastic Lasers could be far cheaper than anything we have today, you could
make thousands of them on a small flexible plastic sheet. They could also be much
more energy efficient than the semiconductor Lasers we have today. And by fiddling
with the chemistry a little it should be possible to make them work from the infrared to
the ultraviolet, the very first experiment produced not a infrared or even a red but a
green Laser, that's pretty high frequency for this early in the learning curve.

Incidentally this is a good issue of Science, the Laser article wasn't the only
interesting thing, the phrase "bearings in mechanical nanodevices" really
caught my eye:

"Graphite sheets slide past each other with relatively little friction, and it has been
predicted that multiwall carbon nanotubes could also readily slide past each other.
Cumings and Zettl (p. 602; see the Perspective by Forró) have taken advantage
of a recently developed "arcing" method to free inner carbon nanotubes from the
outermost tubes at the end caps and now explore the motion of undamaged nested
nanotubes. They attached a nanomanipulator to the inner bundle and show that it
slides out freely. When a pulled-out inner tube is detached from the manipulator,
van der Waals forces rapidly retract it back into the bundle. Such low-friction sliding
motion could possibly be used as "bearings" in mechanical nanodevices."

          John K Clark

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