Applied Physics

A New Low for Photonic Crystal Lasers

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Science  18 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5593, pp. 497
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5593.497c

The development of integrated optical technology places strict demands on its components, including the ability to guide, modulate, and detect light efficiently. The ideal device would also have small volume and be compatible with current semiconductor technology processing. Photonic crystals, which contain arrays of periodically varying dielectric contrast that can be tuned to transmit particular wavelengths, are promising materials for meeting all of the above criteria. As a demonstration of their potential, Loncar et al. describe the fabrication and operation at room temperature of a high-quality factor, low-threshold photonic crystal laser etched into a slab of InGaAsP. With a spot size of just 3.9 square micrometers, lasing from the structure begins at just 220 microwatts of input light power, a threshold power significantly lower than other quantum well-based lasers. — ISO

Appl. Phys. Lett.81, 2680 (2002).

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