The semiconductor lasers in use today rely on various types of cavity, making use of Fresnel reflection at a cleaved facet1, total internal reflection between two different media2, Bragg reflection from a periodic stack of layers3,4,5,6,7,8, mode coupling in a high contrast grating9,10 or random scattering in a disordered medium11. Here, we demonstrate an ultrasmall laser with a mirror, which is based on Fano interference between a continuum of waveguide modes and the discrete resonance of a nanocavity. The rich physics of Fano resonances12 has recently been explored in a number of different photonic and plasmonic systems13,14. The Fano resonance leads to unique laser characteristics. In particular, because the Fano mirror is very narrowband compared to conventional laser mirrors, the laser is single mode and can be modulated via the mirror. We show, experimentally and theoretically, that nonlinearities in the mirror may even promote the generation of a self-sustained train of pulses at gigahertz frequencies, an effect that has previously been observed only in macroscopic lasers15,16,17,18. Such a source is of interest for a number of applications within integrated photonics.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $15.58 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Siegman, A. E. Lasers (University Science Books, 1986).
Spillane, S. M., Kippenberg, T. J. & Vahala, K. J. Ultralow-threshold Raman laser using a spherical dielectric microcavity. Nature 415, 621–623 (2002).
Painter, O. et al. Two-dimensional photonic band-gap defect mode laser. Science 284, 1819–1821 (1999).
Noda, S., Yokoyama, M., Imada, M., Chutinan, A. & Mochizuki, M. Polarization mode control of two-dimensional photonic crystal laser by unit cell structure design. Science 293, 1123–1125 (2001).
Park, H. G. et al. Electrically driven single-cell photonic crystal laser. Science 305, 1444–1447 (2004).
Matsuo, S. et al. High-speed ultracompact buried heterostructure photonic-crystal laser with 13 fJ of energy consumed per bit transmitted. Nat. Photon. 4, 648–654 (2010).
Altug, H., Englund, D. & Vučković, J. Ultrafast photonic crystal nanocavity laser. Nat. Phys. 2, 484–488 (2006).
Hamel, P. et al. Spontaneous mirror-symmetry breaking in coupled photonic-crystal nanolasers. Nat. Photon. 9, 311–315 (2015).
Huang, M. C. Y., Zhou, Y. & Chang-Hasnain, C. J. A surface-emitting laser incorporating a high-index-contrast subwavelength grating. Nat. Photon. 1, 119–122 (2007).
Yang, H. J. et al. Transfer-printed stacked nanomembrane lasers on silicon. Nat. Photon. 6, 615–620 (2012).
Cao, H. et al. Random laser action in semiconductor powder. Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 2278–2281 (1999).
Fano, U. Effects of configuration interaction on intensities and phase shifts. Phys. Rev. 124, 1866–1878 (1961).
Miroshnichenko, A. E., Flach, S. & Kivshar, Y. S. Fano resonances in nanoscale structures. Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 2257–2298 (2010).
Luk'yanchuk, B. et al. The Fano resonance in plasmonic nanostructures and metamaterials. Nat. Mater. 9, 707–715 (2010).
Keller, U. et al. Semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors (SESAM's) for femtosecond to nanosecond pulse generation in solid-state lasers. IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 2, 435–453 (1996).
Bandelow, U., Wunsche, H.-J., Sartorius, B. & Mohrle, M. Dispersive self-Q-switching in DFB lasers: theory versus experiment. IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 3, 270–278 (1997).
Strain, M. J., Zanola, M., Mezosi, G. & Sorel, M. Ultrashort Q-switched pulses from a passively mode-locked distributed Bragg reflector semiconductor laser. Opt. Lett. 37, 4732–4734 (2012).
Renaudier, J. et al. 45 GHz self-pulsation with narrow linewidth in quantum dot Fabry–Perot semiconductor lasers at 1.5 µm. Electron. Lett. 41, 1007–1008 (2005).
Akahane, Y., Asano, T., Song, B.-S. & Noda, S. High-Q photonic nanocavity in a two-dimensional photonic crystal. Nature 425, 944–947 (2003).
Fan, S. H., Suh, W. & Joannopoulos, J. D. Temporal coupled-mode theory for the Fano resonance in optical resonators. J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 569–572 (2003).
Mork, J., Chen, Y. & Heuck, M. Photonic crystal Fano laser: terahertz modulation and ultrashort pulse generation. Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 163901 (2014).
Tanaka, Y. et al. Dynamic control of the Q factor in a photonic crystal nanocavity. Nat. Mater. 6, 862–865 (2007).
Zhang, Z. Y. & Qiu, M. Small-volume waveguide-section high Q microcavities in 2D photonic crystal slabs. Opt. Express 12, 3988–3995 (2004).
Heuck, M., Kristensen, P. T., Elesin, Y. & Mork, J. Improved switching using Fano resonances in photonic crystal structures. Opt. Lett. 38, 2466–2468 (2013).
Yu, Y. et al. Nonreciprocal transmission in a nonlinear photonic-crystal Fano structure with broken symmetry. Laser Photon. Rev. 9, 241–247 (2015).
Tran, Q. V., Combrié, S., Colman, P. & De Rossi, A. Photonic crystal membrane waveguides with low insertion losses. Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 061105 (2009).
Nomura, M. et al. Room temperature continuous-wave lasing in photonic crystal nanocavity. Opt. Express 14, 6308–6315 (2006).
Xue, W. Q. et al. Threshold characteristics of slow-light photonic crystal lasers. Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 063901 (2016).
Yacomotti, A. M., Haddadi, S. & Barbay, S. Self-pulsing nanocavity laser. Phys. Rev. A 87, 041804 (2013).
Xue, W. Q. et al. Thermal analysis of line-defect photonic crystal lasers. Opt. Express 23, 18277–18287 (2015).
The authors thank L. Ottaviano for assistance with wafer preparation, and H. Hu, F. Da Ros, P.Y. Guan and L.K. Oxenløwe for assistance with experimental set-ups. The authors acknowledge financial support from Villum Fonden via the NATEC (NAnophotonics for Terabit Communications) Centre (grant no. 8692) and YIP QUEENs.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Yu, Y., Xue, W., Semenova, E. et al. Demonstration of a self-pulsing photonic crystal Fano laser. Nature Photon 11, 81–84 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2016.248
Optics Letters (2020)
Laser Physics (2020)
Optics Letters (2020)