The University of Southampton

Nanotechnology offers new type of laser sources

Published: 27 May 2008

Scientists at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, UK and the Institute of Radio Astronomy, Kharkov, Ukraine, have developed a new groundbreaking concept of laser light sources with a wide range of applications.

This discovery by the group of researchers is reported in a paper, scheduled for Advance Online Publication on Nature Photonics's website on 25 May 2008.

The scientists have shown that instead of using traditional laser media, such as laser crystals, gas discharge tubes or doped optical fibers where excited atoms produce light, laser emission can be fueled by nanoscopic currents in meta-materials, artificial media engineered on the nano-scale.

Essentially this paper brings together the fields of nano-photonics and meta-materials which are significant new areas of research for the ORC.

This work is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council under the Nanophotonics Portfolio Grant (EPSRC) (UK).

Notes for editors

The Optoelectronics Research Centre ( at the University of Southampton is one of the largest university-based research groups entirely devoted to optoelectronics in the world, and has maintained a position at the forefront of photonics research for over four decades. Its long and well established track record in the fields of optical fibre, lasers, waveguides, devices and optoelectronic materials has fostered innovation, enterprise, cross-boundary and multi-disciplinary activities. It has built strong links with industry, research institutions and universities around the world, from informal collaborations to large-scale funding. Several spin out companies, including Southampton Photonics Inc, Stratophase Ltd, Mesophotonics Ltd and ChG Southampton Ltd, have commericalized the fruits of ORC research; while its extensive outreach programme has brought lasers and optical fibres into schools across the country.

Further information

Professor Nikolay Zheludev, ORC, tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3566, email:

Marketing Officer, ORC, email: 

Articles that may also interest you

Share this article FacebookGoogle+TwitterWeibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.