Hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites have emerged as promising gain media for tunable, solution-processed semiconductor lasers. However, continuous-wave operation has not been achieved so far1,2,3. Here, we demonstrate that optically pumped continuous-wave lasing can be sustained above threshold excitation intensities of ~17 kW cm–2 for over an hour in methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) distributed feedback lasers that are maintained below the MAPbI3 tetragonal-to-orthorhombic phase transition temperature of T ≈ 160 K. In contrast with the lasing death phenomenon that occurs for pure tetragonal-phase MAPbI3 at T > 160 K (ref. 4), we find that continuous-wave gain becomes possible at T ≈ 100 K from tetragonal-phase inclusions that are photogenerated by the pump within the normally existing, larger-bandgap orthorhombic host matrix. In this mixed-phase system, the tetragonal inclusions function as carrier recombination sinks that reduce the transparency threshold, in loose analogy to inorganic semiconductor quantum wells, and may serve as a model for engineering improved perovskite gain media.
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This work was supported in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program under award no. FA-9550-14-1-0301 and by the National Science Foundation under grant no. DMR-1654077. R.A.K. and B.P.R. acknowledge support from a DARPA Young Faculty Award, #D15AP00093 and ONR Young Investigator Program (award #N00014-17-1-2005).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Jia, Y., Kerner, R.A., Grede, A.J. et al. Continuous-wave lasing in an organic–inorganic lead halide perovskite semiconductor. Nature Photon 11, 784–788 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-017-0047-6