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Lasing oscillation in a three-dimensional photonic crystal nanocavity with a complete bandgap


Photonic crystals1,2 have been extensively used in the control and manipulation of photons in engineered electromagnetic environments provided by means of photonic bandgap effects. These effects are key to realizing future optoelectronic devices, including highly efficient lasers. To date, lasers based on photonic crystal cavities have been exclusively demonstrated in two-dimensional photonic crystal geometries3,4,5,6. However, full confinement of photons and control of their interaction with materials can only be achieved with the use of three-dimensional photonic crystals with complete photonic bandgaps7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16. We demonstrate, for the first time, the realization of lasing oscillation in a three-dimensional photonic crystal nanocavity. The laser is constructed by coupling a cavity mode exhibiting the highest quality factor yet achieved (38,500) with quantum dots. This achievement provides means for exploring the physics of light–matter interactions in a nanocavity–single quantum dot coupling system in which both photons and electrons are confined in three dimensions, as well as for realizing three-dimensional integrated photonic circuits.

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Figure 1: Three-dimensional photonic crystal laser structure.
Figure 2: High-Q nanocavity mode.
Figure 3: Lasing oscillation and its threshold characteristics.
Figure 4: Effects of number of upper layers on laser characteristics.


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The authors thank D. Bordel, M. Nishioka, L. Jalabert and K. Aoki for their technical support. This work was supported by the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology.

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Authors and Affiliations



A.T. developed the device design and conducted the theoretical simulations and analysis of data. A.T. and S. Ishida fabricated the device. D.G. carried out the semiconductor growth. A.T. and M.N. performed the optical measurements. Y.A. and S. Iwamoto planned the research and supervised the experiment. A.T., M.N., S. Iwamoto and Y.A. wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to the discussion of the results.

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Correspondence to Aniwat Tandaechanurat or Yasuhiko Arakawa.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Tandaechanurat, A., Ishida, S., Guimard, D. et al. Lasing oscillation in a three-dimensional photonic crystal nanocavity with a complete bandgap. Nature Photon 5, 91–94 (2011).

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