Room-temperature subwavelength metallo-dielectric lasers


We demonstrate room-temperature pulsed laser emission from optically pumped metallo-dielectric cavities that are smaller than their emission wavelength in all three dimensions. The cavity consists of an aluminium/silica bi-layer shield surrounding an InGaAsP disk in which the thickness of the silica layer is optimized to minimize the gain threshold of the laser. The lasers are pumped using a 1,064-nm pulsed fibre laser with a pulse width of 12 ns and repetition rate of 300 kHz. Lasing emission at 1.43 µm is observed from a laser with slightly elliptical gain core with major and minor diameters of 490 and 420 nm, respectively. Owing to the isolation provided by the aluminium shield, this laser design approach can be used to create arrays of uncoupled lasers with emitter densities that are close to the Rayleigh resolution limit.

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Figure 1: Modes of a semiconductor disk.
Figure 2: Optimized metallo-dielectric cavity.
Figure 3: Various stages of the fabrication process.
Figure 4: Room-temperature lasing results.


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The authors would like to acknowledge helpful discussions with C. Tu (fabrication), A. Vakil-Amirkhizi (thermo-mechanical analysis), D. Van Orden and Q. Gu (optical simulations) and also support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (under the Nanoscale Architecture for Coherent Hyperoptical Sources (NACHOS) programme) and the Center for Integrated Access Networks, National Science Foundation and Engineering Research Center (CIAN, NSF and ERC) (under grant no. EEC-0812072).

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M.P.N., B.S., A.M. and V.L. carried out the simulation and analysis of the nanolaser. A.M., V.L., B.S. and M.P.N. developed the electromagnetic design of the resonant cavity. The fabrication process was conceived by M.P.N. and Y.F. Fabrication of the devices was carried out by O.B., M.P.N. and L.F. The optical measurements and characterization were performed by A.S. and M.P.N. The manuscript was written by M.P.N. with contributions from B.S., A.S., A.M., V.L. and Y.F.

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Correspondence to Maziar P. Nezhad.

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Nezhad, M., Simic, A., Bondarenko, O. et al. Room-temperature subwavelength metallo-dielectric lasers. Nature Photon 4, 395–399 (2010).

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