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Breaking the final barrier: Room-temperature electrically powered nanolasers
Date:3/12/2013

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A breakthrough in nanolaser technology has been made by Arizona State University researchers.

Electrically powered nano-scale lasers have been able to operate effectively only in cold temperatures. Researchers in the field have been striving to enable them to perform reliably at room temperature, a step that would pave the way for their use in a variety of practical applications.

Details of how ASU researchers made that leap are published in a recent issue of the research journal Optics Express (Vol. 21, No. 4, 4728 2013). Read the full article at http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-4-4728

The research team is led by Cun-Zheng Ning, an electrical engineering professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, one of ASU's Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering.

He has been among engineers and scientists across the world attempting to fabricate a workable nanolaser with a volume smaller than its wavelength cubed an intermediate step toward further miniaturization of lasers.

Miniaturizing lasers is crucial to making electronics smaller and better, and enabling them to operate faster. Packing more lasers into smaller spaces is necessary for downsized devices to maintain high performance. Being able to integrate more lasers onto a small microchip would make the next generations of computers faster and smaller. The wavelength scale is the next milestone to be achieved in the overall effort to enable more miniaturization.

Ning explains that extremely small and thin lasers have been developed, but they needed to be optically driven by a larger laser. In addition, current electrically driven nanolasers can operate only at low temperatures or and emit light only in short bursts or pulses.

To enable them to be useful in practical applications particularly
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Contact: Joe Kullman
joe.kullman@asu.edu
480-965-8122
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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