Remote Detection of Molecular Species Using Air Laser

Web Published:

Researchers at Princeton University have developed a novel method of lasing in air that could be used for long range detection of molecular species, such as atmospheric pollutants or chemicals.  Princeton is currently seeking industrial collaborators to commercialize this technology.


The technology employs the use of a near infrared laser to dissociate oxygen or nitrogen molecules into atomic oxygen or nitrogen and then causes the excitation of that atomic oxygen or nitrogen by two photon absorption.  This leads to laser beams propagating in both the forward and reverse direction.  The beam in the reverse direction can be amplified by subsequent pumping of oxygen or nitrogen at sequential locations, timed to coincide with the arrival of the backward propagating laser pulse.  The backward propagating laser pulse contains information on molecular species in the air which can be detected using optical methods such as simulating Raman scattering or backward propagating coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering.


It is anticipated that this new method can be developed for both atmospheric (pollution) monitoring as well as homeland security and military applications.


            Patent protection is pending. 


For more information please contact:

William H Gowen
Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing ¿ (609) 258-6762¿

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Chris Wright
Licensing Associate
Princeton University
Richard Miles
Arthur Dogariu
James Michael