Continuous-wave lasing in an organic–inorganic lead halide perovskite semiconductor

  • Nature Photonicsvolume 11pages784788 (2017)
  • doi:10.1038/s41566-017-0047-6
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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).

Author information


  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

    • Yufei Jia
    • , Alex J. Grede
    •  & Noel C. Giebink
  2. Department of Electrical Engineering and Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

    • Ross A. Kerner
    •  & Barry P. Rand


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Y.J. fabricated the gratings, carried out the laser measurements and performed the data analysis. R.A.K. developed the perovskite processing and deposition method and A.J.G. carried out the transient absorption measurements. B.P.R. and N.C.G. supervised the work. All authors contributed to writing the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Noel C. Giebink.

Electronic supplementary material

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary figures 1-7

  2. Supplementary Video

    Video of continuous-wave lasing