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Magnetic on–off switching of a plasmonic laser


The nanoscale mode volumes of surface plasmon polaritons have enabled plasmonic lasers and condensates with ultrafast operation1,2,3,4. Most plasmonic lasers are based on noble metals, rendering the optical mode structure inert to external fields. Here we demonstrate active magnetic-field control over lasing in a periodic array of Co/Pt multilayer nanodots immersed in an IR-140 dye solution. We exploit the magnetic nature of the nanoparticles combined with mode tailoring to control the lasing action. Under circularly polarized excitation, angle-resolved photoluminescence measurements reveal a transition between the lasing action and non-lasing emission as the nanodot magnetization is reversed. Our results introduce magnetization as a means of externally controlling plasmonic nanolasers, complementary to modulation by excitation5, gain medium6,7 or substrate8. Further, the results show how the effects of magnetization on light that are inherently weak can be observed in the lasing regime, inspiring studies of topological photonics9,10,11.

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Fig. 1: Magnetic-field control of plasmonic lasing in a square array of Co/Pt nanodots.
Fig. 2: Analysis of the lasing mode for a square Co/Pt nanodot array.
Fig. 3: Chiral modes emerging in a square lattice of Co/Pt nanodots.
Fig. 4: Magnetic-field control of plasmonic lasing in rectangular arrays of Co/Pt nanodots.

Data availability

Source data are provided with this paper. All other data from this work are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.


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This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant nos. 303351, 307419, 316857 and 327293) and by the Centre for Quantum Engineering (CQE) at Aalto University. F.F.-F. acknowledges financial support from the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters (Vilho, Yrjö and Kalle Väisälä Fund). Lithography was performed at the OtaNano–Micronova Nanofabrication Centre, supported by Aalto University. K.S.D acknowledges financial support from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant no. 948260). J.C. acknowledges support by the Academy of Finland under project no. 325608 (SPATUNANO). We thank J. Taskinen and N. Kuznetsov for help with the experiments. We acknowledge the computational resources provided by the Aalto Science-IT project.

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Authors and Affiliations



F.F.-F. and S.P. fabricated the samples and characterized the optical and magneto-optical response of the square and rectangular plasmonic lattices. F.F.-F. and S.P. performed the lasing experiments and K.S.D. oversaw these measurements. P.T., J.C., F.F.-F., J.-P.M. and K.A. worked on the theory analysis. P.T. and S.v.D. supervised the work. F.F.-F., P.T. and S.v.D. wrote the manuscript with inputs from all the authors.

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Correspondence to Francisco Freire-Fernández, Päivi Törmä or Sebastiaan van Dijken.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Peer review information Nature Photonics thanks Vasily Temnov and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary Figs. 1–20.

Source data

Source Data Fig. 1

Experimental data in Fig. 1.

Source Data Fig. 2

Experimental data in Fig. 2.

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Experimental data in Fig. 4.

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Freire-Fernández, F., Cuerda, J., Daskalakis, K.S. et al. Magnetic on–off switching of a plasmonic laser. Nat. Photon. 16, 27–32 (2022).

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