Case studies

Commercialising crystal laser technologies

Fundamental research at Southampton in the development of wavelength conversion crystals is having a widespread impact on the laser, defence and display industries.

Nature gives us certain laser wavelengths and colours that are low cost, efficient or convenient, however, if a given end application requires a different wavelength or colour, then rather than use an inefficient or even non-existent laser, nonlinear optical techniques are preferred to convert the primary wavelength with the highest efficiency possible. Southampton is one of a small number of teams around the globe that have been pioneering research in this field.

Southampton’s research into materials for use in high-powered lasers led to the creation of spin-out company Covesion. The company produces and explores the use of wavelength conversion crystals that can transform the colour of laser light. These crystals are playing a vital role in the rapid growth of energy-efficient laser projectors. They are also underpinning new science in the quantum technology sector, playing a role in defining time itself, and providing entangled photons for next generation applications such as quantum secure communications and even for teleportation.

Click to read more about this research and its impact on the economy, health and the environment.