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A monolithic white laser

Abstract

Monolithic semiconductor lasers capable of emitting over the full visible-colour spectrum have a wide range of important applications, such as solid-state lighting, full-colour displays, visible colour communications and multi-colour fluorescence sensing. The ultimate form of such a light source would be a monolithic white laser. However, realizing such a device has been challenging because of intrinsic difficulties in achieving epitaxial growth of the mismatched materials required for different colour emission. Here, we demonstrate a monolithic multi-segment semiconductor nanosheet based on a quaternary alloy of ZnCdSSe that simultaneously lases in the red, green and blue. This is made possible by a novel nanomaterial growth strategy that enables separate control of the composition, morphology and therefore bandgaps of the segments. Our nanolaser can be dynamically tuned to emit over the full visible-colour range, covering 70% more perceptible colours than the most commonly used illuminants.

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Figure 1: Growth procedure of multi-segment heterostructure nanosheets.
Figure 2: Structural characterization of a multi-segment heterostructure nanosheet.
Figure 3: Simultaneous multi-colour lasing from a single multi-segment heterostructure nanosheet.
Figure 4: Light-in–light-out curves with multimode lasing fitting.
Figure 5: White and full-colour tunable lasing.
Figure 6: Colour photographs.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Army Research Office for their initial support on nanowire research (award no. W911NF-08-1-0471, under M. Gerhold) that eventually led to this work. The authors acknowledge the use of facilities within the LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science at Arizona State University, especially D. Wright and A.J. Mardinly for their assistance with the CVD set-up and high-resolution TEM, respectively. F.F. thanks the China Scholar Council for a scholarship, and S.T. thanks the Republic of Turkey's Ministry of National Education for financial support through its fellowship.

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Contributions

C.Z.N. created the concept, initiated the research on the white lasers, and supervised the overall project. S.T. developed the growth strategy and was responsible for the growth of multi-segment heterostructure nanosheets and the structural and chemical characterizations. F.F. and Z.L. designed and performed the key optical experiments, theoretical calculations and simulations. D.S. carried out the AFM measurements, as well as other optical measurements. All authors participated in regular data analysis, discussed the research results, and were involved in the preparation and various revisions of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to C. Z. Ning.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Fan, F., Turkdogan, S., Liu, Z. et al. A monolithic white laser. Nature Nanotech 10, 796–803 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2015.149

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