Sub–single-exciton lasing using charged quantum dots coupled to a distributed feedback cavity

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Science  16 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6454, pp. 672-675
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax3489

Switching on quantum dot lasers

The optical properties of quantum dots can be tailored with alterations to their size and composition. Developing quantum dots as low-threshold laser sources requires overcoming problems associated with carrier recombination and stability. Kozlov et al. report success in this direction by demonstrating that a mix of processing and postsynthesis charging can overcome these problems. Synthesis of compositionally graded core-shell quantum dots followed by a carrier charging step provides stable, low-threshold lasing.

Science, this issue p. 672


Colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are attractive materials for realizing highly flexible, solution-processable optical gain media, but they are difficult to use in lasing because of complications associated with extremely short optical-gain lifetimes limited by nonradiative Auger recombination. By combining compositional grading of the QD’s interior for hindering Auger decay with postsynthetic charging for suppressing parasitic ground-state absorption, we can reduce the lasing threshold to values below the single-exciton-per-dot limit. As a favorable departure from traditional multi-exciton–based lasing schemes, our approach should facilitate the development of solution-processable lasing devices and thereby help to extend the reach of lasing technologies into areas not accessible with traditional, epitaxially grown semiconductor materials.

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