Demonstration of a self-pulsing photonic crystal Fano laser


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.

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Figure 1: Fano laser structure.
Figure 2: Static characteristics of the Fano laser.
Figure 3: Dynamic characteristics of the Fano laser.
Figure 4: Self-pulsation regime.

Change history

  • 12 January 2017

    In the version of this Letter originally published online, in Fig. 2a inset and Fig. 3a, the tickmarks were missing on the x and y axes, and in Fig. 4a, tickmarks were missing on the x axis. These errors have been corrected in all versions of the Letter.


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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.

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Y.Y. designed the device. E.S. grew the quantum dot wafers. Y.Y. fabricated the samples. Y.Y. and W.X. performed the measurements. Y.Y. and J.M. performed the theoretical analysis. Y.Y. and J.M. prepared the manuscript. All authors commented on the manuscript. J.M. and K.Y. led the project.

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Correspondence to Yi Yu or Jesper Mork.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Yu, Y., Xue, W., Semenova, E. et al. Demonstration of a self-pulsing photonic crystal Fano laser. Nature Photon 11, 81–84 (2017).

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