We demonstrate a spectrally discrete white-light laser device based on a photonic bandgap hybrid, which is composed of a soft photonic crystal; i.e., a layer of dye-doped cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC), sandwiched between two imperfect but identical, inorganic multilayer photonic crystals. With a sole optical pump, a mono-, bi-, or tri-chromatic laser can be obtained and, through the soft photonic crystal regulated by an applied voltage, the hybrid possesses electrical tunability in laser wavelength. The three emitted spectral peaks originate from two bandedges of the CLC reflection band as well as one of the photonic defect modes in dual-mode lasing. Thanks to the optically bistable nature of CLC, such a white-light laser device can operate in quite an energy-saving fashion. This technique has potential to fulfill the present mainstream in the coherent white-light source.
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