Scientists successfully mounted a hyper thin, flexible, laser-shooting membrane on cow eyeballs. The invention of a pliable, movable laser unlocks new possibilities for security, and it's also just really cool: some day, we might be shooting lasers from our eyes.
Laser light, which doesn't occur naturally, can be used in precision tools, measurements and surgeries, used to map and track movement or location. Most lasers require a solid supporting structure for stability, which makes them hard to attach to pliable surfaces.
In a study published in , researchers overcame this setback by developing an ultra-thin membrane laser that can be fixed to curved or delicate objects, "like a sticker, really," study co-author Malte Gather, a professor at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom, . The whole laser is less than 1/1000th of a millimeter thick.
After researchers calculated the amount of light they needed to charge and operate the laser (an amount that would be safe for cow or human eyes), they charged the membrane with blue light, and placed it on lenses that they mounted on cow eyeballs (cow eyeballs share a similar structure to human eyeballs, but are slightly easier to obtain.) The cow eyes emitted "a well-defined green laser beam."
“By varying the materials and adjusting the grating structures of the laser, the emission can be designed to show a specific series of sharp lines on a flat background,” aka, engineered to emit a barcode, researcher Markus Karl . The membrane lasers could be used as wearable IDs or security tags in humans, and are delicate enough to attach to future banknotes or documents.
(via / )