Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Light in the darkness

Laser light is usually limited to the same wavelength range as the spontaneous emission of the active material. A judicious choice of dielectric coatings on the cavity has now enabled laser emission far beyond the spectral range of the gain medium.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Laser emission inside and outside the spontaneous emission band.


  1. Maiman, T. H. Nature 187, 493–494 (1960).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Liang, F. et al. Nat. Phys. (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Einstein, A. Phys. Z. 18, 121 (1917).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Moulton, P. F. Proc. IEEE 80, 348–364 (1992).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Sennaroglu, A. Prog. Quantum Electron. 26, 287–352 (2002).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Zhu, S., Zhu, Y. & Ming, N. Science 278, 843–846 (1997).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Ferreira, M. S. & Wetter, N. U. Opt. Lett. 46, 508–511 (2021).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Zahra, E. et al. Nat. Commun. 13, 2126 (2022).

  9. Khurgin, J. B., Clerici, M. & Kinsey, N. Laser Photon. Rev. 14, 2000291 (2020).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alessandra Toncelli.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Toncelli, A. Light in the darkness. Nat. Phys. (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing