Advancements in nanoscale coherent emitters: The development of substrate-free surface plasmon nanolasers

Wing Sing Cheung, I. Tsung Huang, Zong Yu Wu, Po Yu Chang, Hsu Cheng Hsu, Yu Pin Lan, Yu Hsun Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The surface plasmon effect can be used to confine electromagnetic fields to a small footprint measuring tens of nanometers. The resultant resonant cavities function as optimal coherent light sources with subwavelength scale configurations. The plasmonic laser sources based on nanoshell structures, in particular, have demonstrated the potential for use in the detection of subcellular mesoscopic molecular structures. However, this structure has a high plasmon dephasing rate, which can increase the threshold of the device, making it difficult to achieve electrically excited structures, thereby rendering them unsuitable as an active component for integration into optoelectronic circuits. A different approach to confining electromagnetic fields involves using a propagating surface plasmon laser structured on a planar layered semiconductor-insulator-metal. This design enables the surface plasmon to propagate along the direction of the nanowire and offers the potential to achieve electrically driven structures by injecting current into the semiconductor nanowire. Consequently, this structure is more effective in guiding energy into integrated optoelectronic circuits compared to the isotropic radiation of nanoshell structures. However, this design also necessitates a supporting substrate, resulting in the actual device volume exceeding the nanoscale and, in some cases, even larger than the size of a cell. This limitation hinders the application of integrated optoelectronic circuits at the micro/nanoscale for bio-applications. To address these challenges, we developed a substrate-free surface plasmon polariton laser. We demonstrated that allowing direct contact between the film and the air significantly reduced the laser threshold. Furthermore, the device maintained its operational capability across different surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016103
JournalAPL Photonics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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