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Taming of random lasers

Abstract

Random lasers1 are fascinating devices due to the absence of a conventional cavity structure and their counterintuitive lasing mechanism. However, they are also notorious for their unpredictability. Despite their many unusual properties2,3,4,5, random lasers are unlikely to achieve the ubiquitous acceptance of conventional lasers unless the underlying lasing mechanisms that govern their operation are thoroughly understood and their exotic properties are appropriately regulated. Recent demonstrations of localized random lasers are considered a breakthrough in the field because structural disorders were engineered in a top-down manner6,7,8. Nevertheless, the origin of the lasing phenomenon and the controllability of these devices have not been adequately addressed. Lately, we have experimentally proven that photonic band-tail eigenstates—manifestations of photonic Anderson localizations—are responsible for random lasing in a compositionally disordered photonic crystal platform9. Herein, we demonstrate that the process of governing the band-tail states offers a unique opportunity to finally regulate random lasers.

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Fig. 1: Schematics of the random laser structure.
Fig. 2: Control of the number and locations of PBT modes.
Fig. 3: Controlling single-mode random laser specifications.

Data availability

The data that support the plots in this paper and the other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Samsung Research Funding and Incubation Center of Samsung Electronics under project no. SRFC-MA1801-02. The collaboration between Seoul National University and Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon/Ecole Centrale de Lyon was pursued in the framework of the French–Korean Laboratoire International Associé ‘Center for Photonics and Nanostructures’.

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M.L. conducted the majority of the experimental work, including the design, fabrication, measurements and simulations. S.C. and C.S. provided the bonded InAsP MQW wafers and were involved in the NSOM measurements. H.J. conceived and directed the research. All authors contributed to the scientific discussions and the preparation of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Heonsu Jeon.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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This file contains more information about the work and Supplementary Figs. 1–6.

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Lee, M., Callard, S., Seassal, C. et al. Taming of random lasers. Nat. Photonics 13, 445–448 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-019-0407-5

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