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Electrically pumped waveguide lasing from ZnO nanowires


Ultraviolet semiconductor lasers are widely used for applications in photonics, information storage, biology and medical therapeutics. Although the performance of gallium nitride ultraviolet lasers has improved significantly over the past decade, demand for lower costs, higher powers and shorter wavelengths has motivated interest in zinc oxide (ZnO), which has a wide direct bandgap and a large exciton binding energy1,2,3,4,5,6. ZnO-based random lasing has been demonstrated with both optical and electrical pumping7,8,9,10, but random lasers suffer from reduced output powers, unstable emission spectra and beam divergence. Here, we demonstrate electrically pumped Fabry–Perot type waveguide lasing from laser diodes that consist of Sb-doped p-type ZnO nanowires and n-type ZnO thin films. The diodes exhibit highly stable lasing at room temperature, and can be modelled with finite-difference time-domain methods.

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Figure 1: Structure and material properties of the ZnO nanowire/film laser device.
Figure 2: IV properties and evidence of the formation of a ZnO nanowire/film p-n junction.
Figure 3: Laser emission characterizations.
Figure 4: Lasing threshold gain/feedback properties.
Figure 5: Far-field pattern of light emission.


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The authors would like to thank K.N. Bozhilov for assistance in TEM imaging, Z.H. Chen for guidance in optical pumping measurements and D. Paul for AES measurement and analysis. The work on the ZnO device was in part supported by Army Research Office Young Investigator Program (grant no. W911NF-08-1-0432) and by the National Science Foundation (grant no. ECCS-0900978). The work on p-type ZnO was supported by the Department of Energy (DE-FG02-08ER46520).

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Authors and Affiliations



S.C., G.W. and J.L. conceived and designed the experiments. S.C., G.W. and J.Z. carried out the experiments. Y.L. and L.C. performed and analysed the EBIC experiment. W.Z. performed the lasing measurement by optical pumping. S.C. and J.K. carried out theoretical simulations. J.R. and L.L. contributed material analysis. S.C., G.W. and J.L. co-wrote the paper. J.L. supervised the project.

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Correspondence to Jianlin Liu.

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Chu, S., Wang, G., Zhou, W. et al. Electrically pumped waveguide lasing from ZnO nanowires. Nature Nanotech 6, 506–510 (2011).

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