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Phase-locked coherent modes in a patterned metal–organic microcavity


Organic microcavities offer tantalizing prospects for studying the interactions of light and matter. For electrical excitation of these processes, electrodes must be integrated. However, the large absorption properties of metals are generally considered fatal for optical coherence. With this in mind, we embedded a thin silver grating into an organic microcavity to generate periodic arrays of localized cavity modes and metal-based Tamm plasmon polaritons. These excited states are capable of phase coupling across the grating. At room temperature and under non-resonant pumping, we selectively stimulated coherent emission from in- and out-of-phase locked arrays. We show that an absorptive metal inside an optical cavity is compatible with coherent emission. Most importantly, the inherently low residual absorption of the organic layer enables coherence to spread over macroscopic distances, even at room temperature. Our strategy of embedding metal patterns into an organic microcavity yields a viable route towards electrically driven organic solid-state lasers.

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Figure 1: Organo–metallic microcavity and emission spectra.
Figure 2: Analysis of the resonances.
Figure 3: Coherent emission from a periodically patterned microcavity.


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This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG projects LE 747/37-1 and LE 747/41-1) and by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) through the InnoProfile Project (03IP602). A.Z. gratefully acknowledges financial support as a fellow of the Humboldt Foundation.

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R.B. and A.A.Z. designed and produced the sample. V.G.L. built the microphotoluminescence set-up. R.B. and V.G.L. performed the angle- and spatially resolved measurements. R.S. and R.B. calculated the dispersions and performed the Fourier analysis. S.I.H., H.F. and K.L. coordinated the DFG projects and motivated the work. All authors discussed the data and wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to K. Leo.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Brückner, R., Zakhidov, A., Scholz, R. et al. Phase-locked coherent modes in a patterned metal–organic microcavity. Nature Photon 6, 322–326 (2012).

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