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Resonance-driven random lasing


A random laser is a system formed by a random assembly of elastic scatterers dispersed into an optical gain medium1. The multiple light scattering replaces the standard optical cavity of traditional lasers and the interplay between gain and scattering determines the lasing properties. All random lasers studied to date have consisted of irregularly shaped or polydisperse scatterers, with a certain average scattering strength that was constant over the frequency window of the laser2,3,4. In this letter we consider the case where the scattering is resonant. We demonstrate that randomly assembled monodisperse spheres can sustain scattering resonances over the gain frequency window, and that the lasing wavelength can therefore be controlled by means of the diameter and refractive index of the spheres. The system is therefore a random laser with an a priori designed lasing peak within the gain curve.

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Figure 1: Static measurements of the photonic glass light transport.
Figure 2: Random lasing action of photonic glasses.
Figure 3: Random lasing action of sphere suspensions.
Figure 4: Mode competition between Mie resonances.


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We wish to thank J.J. Saenz, R. Righini and M. Colocci for useful discussions. The work was financially supported by the European Commission (EC) (LENS) under contract number RII3-CT-2003-506350, by the European Union (EU) through the Network of Excellence IST-2-511616-NOE (PHOREMOST), CICyT NAN2004-08843-C05, MAT2006-09062, the Spanish MEC Consolider-QOIT CSD2006-0019 and the Comunidad de Madrid S-0505/ESP-0200.

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Correspondence to Diederik S. Wiersma.

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Gottardo, S., Sapienza, R., García, P. et al. Resonance-driven random lasing. Nature Photon 2, 429–432 (2008).

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