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Lasing spaser


In 2003 Bergman and Stockman introduced the spaser, a quantum amplifier of surface plasmons by stimulated emission of radiation1. They argued that by exploiting a metal/dielectric composite medium it should be possible to construct a nanodevice, where a strong coherent field is built up in a spatial region much smaller than the wavelength1,2. V-shaped metallic structures, combined with semiconductor quantum dots, were discussed as a possible realization of the spaser1. Here we introduce a further development of the spaser concept. We show that by combining the metamaterial and spaser ideas one can create a narrow-diversion coherent source of electromagnetic radiation that is fuelled by plasmonic oscillations. We argue that a two-dimensional array of a certain class of plasmonic resonators supporting coherent current excitations with high quality factor can act as a planar source of spatially and temporally coherent radiation, which we term a ‘lasing spaser.’

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Figure 1: Schematic showing why an array of antisymmetric currents does not radiate.
Figure 2: Lasing spaser.
Figure 3: Transmission spectra of the mid-IR resonator array.
Figure 4: Transmission properties of near- and mid-IR resonator arrays.
Figure 5: Transmission spectra of the near-IR resonator array.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Counsil (EPSRC) (UK).

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The idea of the lasing spaser belongs to N.I.Z. who also wrote the paper. S.L.P. and N.P. performed infrared and near-infrared numerical experiments correspondingly. V.A.F. contributed to the analysis of data.

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Correspondence to N. I. Zheludev.

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Zheludev, N., Prosvirnin, S., Papasimakis, N. et al. Lasing spaser. Nature Photon 2, 351–354 (2008).

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