Blog
About

  • Record: found
  • Abstract: found
  • Article: found
Is Open Access

Spaser Action, Loss Compensation, and Stability in Plasmonic Systems with Gain

Preprint

Read this article at

Bookmark
      There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

      Abstract

      We demonstrate that the conditions of spaser generation and the full loss compensation in a resonant plasmonic-gain medium (metamaterial) are identical. Consequently, attempting the full compensation or overcompensation of losses by gain will lead to instability and a transition to a spaser state. This will limit (clamp) the inversion and lead to the limitation on the maximum loss compensation achievable. The criterion of the loss overcompensation, leading to the instability and spasing, is given in a analytical and universal (independent from system's geometry) form.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 8

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      Plasmon lasers at deep subwavelength scale.

      Laser science has been successful in producing increasingly high-powered, faster and smaller coherent light sources. Examples of recent advances are microscopic lasers that can reach the diffraction limit, based on photonic crystals, metal-clad cavities and nanowires. However, such lasers are restricted, both in optical mode size and physical device dimension, to being larger than half the wavelength of the optical field, and it remains a key fundamental challenge to realize ultracompact lasers that can directly generate coherent optical fields at the nanometre scale, far beyond the diffraction limit. A way of addressing this issue is to make use of surface plasmons, which are capable of tightly localizing light, but so far ohmic losses at optical frequencies have inhibited the realization of truly nanometre-scale lasers based on such approaches. A recent theoretical work predicted that such losses could be significantly reduced while maintaining ultrasmall modes in a hybrid plasmonic waveguide. Here we report the experimental demonstration of nanometre-scale plasmonic lasers, generating optical modes a hundred times smaller than the diffraction limit. We realize such lasers using a hybrid plasmonic waveguide consisting of a high-gain cadmium sulphide semiconductor nanowire, separated from a silver surface by a 5-nm-thick insulating gap. Direct measurements of the emission lifetime reveal a broad-band enhancement of the nanowire's exciton spontaneous emission rate by up to six times owing to the strong mode confinement and the signature of apparently threshold-less lasing. Because plasmonic modes have no cutoff, we are able to demonstrate downscaling of the lateral dimensions of both the device and the optical mode. Plasmonic lasers thus offer the possibility of exploring extreme interactions between light and matter, opening up new avenues in the fields of active photonic circuits, bio-sensing and quantum information technology.
        Bookmark
        • Record: found
        • Abstract: found
        • Article: not found

        Demonstration of a spaser-based nanolaser.

        One of the most rapidly growing areas of physics and nanotechnology focuses on plasmonic effects on the nanometre scale, with possible applications ranging from sensing and biomedicine to imaging and information technology. However, the full development of nanoplasmonics is hindered by the lack of devices that can generate coherent plasmonic fields. It has been proposed that in the same way as a laser generates stimulated emission of coherent photons, a 'spaser' could generate stimulated emission of surface plasmons (oscillations of free electrons in metallic nanostructures) in resonating metallic nanostructures adjacent to a gain medium. But attempts to realize a spaser face the challenge of absorption loss in metal, which is particularly strong at optical frequencies. The suggestion to compensate loss by optical gain in localized and propagating surface plasmons has been implemented recently and even allowed the amplification of propagating surface plasmons in open paths. Still, these experiments and the reported enhancement of the stimulated emission of dye molecules in the presence of metallic nanoparticles lack the feedback mechanism present in a spaser. Here we show that 44-nm-diameter nanoparticles with a gold core and dye-doped silica shell allow us to completely overcome the loss of localized surface plasmons by gain and realize a spaser. And in accord with the notion that only surface plasmon resonances are capable of squeezing optical frequency oscillations into a nanoscopic cavity to enable a true nanolaser, we show that outcoupling of surface plasmon oscillations to photonic modes at a wavelength of 531 nm makes our system the smallest nanolaser reported to date-and to our knowledge the first operating at visible wavelengths. We anticipate that now it has been realized experimentally, the spaser will advance our fundamental understanding of nanoplasmonics and the development of practical applications.
          Bookmark
          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          Lasing in metal-insulator-metal sub-wavelength plasmonic waveguides

            Bookmark

            Author and article information

            Journal
            16 November 2010
            2011-01-03
            1011.3751
            10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.156802

            http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

            Custom metadata
            4 pages, 1 figure
            cond-mat.mes-hall physics.optics

            Comments

            Comment on this article