Researchers in Australia's University of Sydney have found a way to manipulate laser light at a fraction of the cost of current technology. The discovery could help drive down costs in industries as diverse as telecommunications, medical diagnostics and consumer optoelectronics.
The polarization of transmitted light is rotated by a crystal immersed in a magnetic field (top). The perovskite crystal (bottom right) rotates light very effectively, due to the atomic configuration of its crystal structure (bottom left)
The research team, led by Dr Girish Lakhwani from the University of Sydney Nano Institute and School of Chemistry, has used inexpensive perovskite crystals to make Faraday rotators. These manipulate light in a range of devices across industry and science by altering a fundamental property of light ' its polarization. This gives scientists and engineers the ability to stabilize, block or steer light on demand.