Membrane lasers and Plato’s eye beams

Markus Karl just have his latest paper out in Nature Communications. He describes fabrication and testing of ultrathin membranes of conjugated polymers with embedded DFB gratings. These membranes form flexible low threshold lasers that can be transferred onto a variety of objects, including onto banknotes and contact lenses. With the latter, you can in principle shoot laser beams from your eyes… just like Plato in ancient Greece thought that our vision is mediated by beams sent out by our eyes, or like “laserman”. The media liked the idea of the latter, as seen for example on the Forbes Magazine website.