Metal-coated nano-cavity laser

Electronics Mechanics
Mikroniek 3 2008 by Frans Zuurveen 30 December 2008

Dielectric micro-cavity semiconductor lasers used to have dimensions of many times the wavelength of the emitted radiation. Now, Australian Martin Hill has succeeded in designing and building a metallic nano-cavity laser with dimensions that are substantially smaller than the wavelength of the emitted light. He has made a success of a job that experts considered virtually impossible, thanks to his own tenacious determination and to the elaborate facilities at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). The new laser is still in the laboratory phase of development and operates at liquid nitrogen temperature. TU/e researchers work hard to make the laser function at room temperature. Hill’s achievement creates prospects for clock frequencies in the Terahertz range (i.e. 1012 s-1) and incredibly small switching energies below 1 fJ (i.e. 10-15 J).


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