Research News

Materials Science: Blue Laser Race Turns Red-Hot

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Science  19 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5247, pp. 289
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5247.289


In the race to make the first blue-light semiconductor lasers, the lead horse—zinc selenide—has come up slightly lame. Now gallium nitride, a highly touted challenger, has stepped onto the track, as researchers report making the first electrically powered laser from this material. Chip-based blue lasers are expected to be an instant commercial hit, because the short blue wavelengths can be used to pack a lot of data in a very small space.