We experimentally demonstrate and test a new type of laser where emission is mediated by water waves. Our device is similar to Brillouin lasers, but exploits water-waves (instead of acoustical waves).
In our study, we fabricate resonators that co-host capillary and optical modes, control them to operate at their non resolved sideband regime, and observe stimulated capillary scattering and coherent excitation of capillary resonances at kHz rates.
In more details, we experimentally measure optical quality factor near million, capillary quality factor near 20 and lasing threshold at 70 microwatt. Knee shaped power dependance, that is typical to lasers, is measured together with line narrowing as power increases.
By exchanging energy between electromagnetic and capillary waves, we bridge interfacial-tension phenomena at the liquid phase boundary to optics, and might impact optofluidics by allowing optical control, interrogation and cooling of water waves.
Using a turn-key Ti:sapphire femtosecond laser frequency comb, an off-the-shelf supercontinuum device and Fabry-Perot mode filters, we report the generation of a 16-GHz frequency comb spanning a 90-nm band about a center wavelength of 566 nm. The light from this astro-comb is used to calibrate the HARPS-N astrophysical spectrograph for precision radial velocity measurements. The comb-calibrated spectrograph achieves a stability of ∼1 cm/s within half an hour of averaging time. We also use the astro-comb as a reference for measurements of solar spectra obtained with a compact telescope and as a tool to study intrapixel sensitivity variations on the spectrograph detector.
The Shockley-Queisser efficiency limit of ~40% for single-junction photovoltaic (PV) cells is mainly caused by the heat dissipation accompanying the process of electro-chemical potential generation. Concepts such as solar thermo-photovoltaics (STPV) aim to harvest this heat loss by the use of a primary absorber which acts as a mediator between the sun and the PV, spectrally shaping the light impinging on the cell. However, this approach is challenging to realize due to the high operating temperatures of above 2000K required in order to generate high thermal emission fluxes. After over thirty years of STPV research, the record conversion efficiency for STPV device stands at 3.2% for 1285K operating temperature.
In contrast, we recently demonstrated how thermally-enhanced photoluminescence (TEPL) is an optical heat-pump, in which photoluminescence is thermally blue-shifted upon heating while the number of emitted photons is conserved. This process generates energetic photon-rates which are comparable to thermal emission in significantly reduced temperatures, opening the way for a TEPL based energy converter. In such a device, a photoluminescent low bandgap absorber replaces the STPV thermal absorber. The thermalization heat induces a temperature rise and a blue-shifted emission, which is efficiently harvested by a higher bandgap PV. We show that such an approach can yield ideal efficiencies of 70% at 1140K, and realistic efficiencies of almost 50% at moderate concentration levels. As an experimental proof-of-concept, we demonstrate 1.4% efficient TEPL energy conversion of an Nd3+ system coupled to a GaAs cell, at 600K.
The Shockley-Queisser (SQ) efficiency limit for single-junction photovoltaic cell (PV) is to a great extent due to inherent heat dissipation accompanying the quantum process of electro-chemical potential generation. Concepts such as solar thermophotovoltaics1,2,3 (STPV) and thermo-photonics4 aim to harness this dissipated heat, claiming very high theoretical limit. In practice, none of these concepts have been experimentally proven to overcome the SQ limit, mainly due to the very high operating temperatures, which significantly challenge electro-optical devices. In contrast to the above concepts for harnessing thermal emission at thermal equilibrium, Photoluminescence (PL) is a fundamental light-matter interaction under non-thermal equilibrium, which conventionally involves the absorption of energetic photon, thermalization and the emission of a red-shifted photon. Conversely, in optical-refrigeration the absorption of low energy photon is followed by endothermic-PL of energetic photon5,6. Both aspects were mainly studied where thermal population is far weaker than photonic excitation, obscuring the generalization of PL and thermal emissions. Here we experimentally study endothermic-PL at high temperatures7. In accordance with theory, we show how PL photon rate is conserved with temperature increase, while each photon is blue shifted. Further rise in temperature leads to an abrupt transition to thermal emission where the photon rate increases sharply. We also show how endothermic-PL generates orders of magnitude more energetic photons than thermal emission at similar temperatures. Relying on these observations, we propose and study thermally enhanced PL (TEPL) for highly efficient solar-energy conversion. Here, solar radiation is absorbed by a low-bandgap PL material. The dissipated heat is emitted by endothermic PL, and harvested by a higher-bandgap photovoltaic cell. While such device operates at much lower temperatures than STPV, the theoretical efficiencies approach 70%, bringing its realization into reach.