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On-chip beam-steering photonic-crystal lasers


The development of semiconductor lasers with on-chip controllability of the beam direction is important for a wide range of applications, including mobile laser projection displays1, advanced laser printers2 and chip-to-chip optical communication3. Here, we report a novel concept to realize such beam-steering lasers using photonic crystals. Our idea is based on the generation of artificial lasing band edges in the photonic band structure, which determine the resonant condition and output beam direction4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12. We show that the lasing band edge can be tuned by using a composite photonic-crystal structure composed of both square and rectangular lattices, and by varying their relative lattice constants. We demonstrate that lasers based on such composite photonic-crystal structures are able to emit beams in a range of directions that can be dynamically controlled by on-chip integration.

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Figure 1: Schematic representations and photonic band structures of a composite photonic crystal composed of square and rectangular lattice structures.
Figure 2: Fabricated composite photonic crystal and device structure.
Figure 3: Measured photonic band structures.
Figure 4: Beam-steering functionality and lasing characteristics.


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This work was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid and the Global Center of Excellence (G-COE) programme of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

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Authors and Affiliations



S.N. supervised the project. S.N. and Y.K. conceived and designed the experiments. Y.K., S.I. and Y.L., together with W.K. and D.O., performed the experiments. S.N.,Y.K., S.I., Y.L., K.S. and E.M. analysed the data. S.N. and Y.K. wrote the paper with K.S. and E.M.

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Correspondence to Susumu Noda.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Kurosaka, Y., Iwahashi, S., Liang, Y. et al. On-chip beam-steering photonic-crystal lasers. Nature Photon 4, 447–450 (2010).

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