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Opt Express. 2011 Jul 4;19(14):13225-44. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.013225.

A surface-emitting 3D metal-nanocavity laser: proposal and theory.

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  • 1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


A novel three-dimensional (3D) metal-nanocavity (or nano-coin) semiconductor laser suitable for electrical injection is proposed and analyzed. Our design uses metals as both the cavity sidewall and the top/bottom reflectors (i. e., a fully metal encapsulated nanolaser) and maintains the surface-emitting nature. As a result of the large permittivity contrast between the dielectric and metal, the optical energy can be well-confined inside the metal nanocavity. With a proper design and the choice of the HE111 mode, which has the best top surface radiation pattern, a laser with a physical size smaller than 0.01λ(0)(3) is achievable at 1.55 μm wavelength with a reasonable semiconductor gain at room temperature. We provide a detailed theoretical model starting from the waveguide analysis to full 3D structure simulations by taking into account both geometry and metal dispersion. We show a systematic procedure for analyzing this class of 3D metal-cavity (or nano-coin) lasers with discussions on the optimization of the performance such as light output power, threshold reduction, and output beam shaping.

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