ucture enables them to act both as lasers, generating coherent pulses of light, and as waveguides, similar to optical fibers. Like conventional communication lasers, these nanowires are made of so-called III-V semiconductors, materials with the right "bandgap" to emit light in the near-infrared. A unique advantage, Finley explains, is that the nanowire geometry is "more forgiving than bulk crystals or films, allowing you to combine materials that you normally can't combine." Because the nanowires arise from a base only tens to hundreds of nanometers in diameter, they can be grown directly on silicon chips in a way that alleviates restrictions due to crystal lattice mismatch thus yielding high-quality material with the potential for high performance.
Put these characteristics together, and it becomes possible to imagine a path from applied research to a variety of future applications. A number of significant challenges remain, however. For example, laser emission from the TUM nanowires was stimulated by light as were the nanowire lasers reported almost simultaneously by a team at the Australian National University yet practical applications are likely to require electrically injected devices.
Nanowire lasers: a technological frontier with bright prospects
The newly published results are largely due to a team of scientists who are beginning their careers, under the guidance of Dr. Gregor Koblmueller and other senior researchers, at the frontier of a new field. Doctoral candidates including Benedikt Mayer, Daniel Rudolph, Stefanie Morktter and Julian Treu combined their efforts, working together on photonic design, material growth, and characterization using electron microscopy with atomic resolution.
Ongoing research is directed toward better understanding the physical phenomena at work in such devices as well as toward creating electrically injected nanowire lasers, optimizing their performance, and integrating them Page: 1 2 3 Related biology technology :1
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