Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Ultralow-threshold electrically pumped quantum-dot photonic-crystal nanocavity laser


Efficient, low-threshold and compact semiconductor laser sources are under investigation for many applications in high-speed communications, information processing and optical interconnects. The best edge-emitting and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers have thresholds on the order of 100 µA (refs 1, 2), but dissipate too much power to be practical for many applications, particularly optical interconnects (Miller in Proc. IEEE 97:1166, 2009). Optically pumped photonic-crystal nanocavity lasers represent the state of the art in low-threshold lasers (Loncar et al. in Appl. Phys. Lett. 81:2680, 2002, Noda in J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27:B1, 2010); however, to be practical, techniques to electrically pump these structures must be developed. Here, we demonstrate a quantum-dot photonic-crystal nanocavity laser in gallium arsenide pumped by a lateral p–i–n junction formed by ion implantation. Continuous-wave lasing is observed at temperatures up to 150 K. Thresholds of only 181 nA at 50 K and 287 nA at 150 K are observed—the lowest thresholds ever observed in any type of electrically pumped laser.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ellis, B., Mayer, M., Shambat, G. et al. Ultralow-threshold electrically pumped quantum-dot photonic-crystal nanocavity laser. Nature Photon 5, 297–300 (2011).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing