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At left, a tiny bead struck by a laser (at the yellowish spot shown at the top of the image) produces optical modes that circulate around the interior of the bead (pinkish ring). At right, a simulation of how the optical field inside a 5-micron (5 millionths of a meter) bead is distributed. (Credit: Angel Fernandez-Bravo/Berkeley Lab, Kaiyuan Yao)

Continuously emitting microlasers with nanoparticle-coated beads

Now it is possible to convert nanoparticle-coated microscopic beads into lasers, thanks to the new technique demonstrated by Berkeley scientists. The technique opens up...