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Nano Lett. 2016 Apr 13;16(4):2471-7. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b00034. Epub 2016 Apr 4.

Controlling Random Lasing with Three-Dimensional Plasmonic Nanorod Metamaterials.

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School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University , 1205 West State Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, United States.
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University , 206 S. Martin Jischke Drive, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, United States.
Department of Applied Physics, Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut 06250, United States.


Plasmonics has brought revolutionary advances to laser science by enabling deeply subwavelength nanolasers through surface plasmon amplification. However, the impact of plasmonics on other promising laser systems has so far remained elusive. Here, we present a class of random lasers enabled by three-dimensional plasmonic nanorod metamaterials. While dense metallic nanostructures are usually detrimental to laser performance due to absorption losses, here the lasing threshold keeps decreasing as the volume fraction of metal is increased up to ∼0.07. This is ∼460 times higher than the optimal volume fraction reported thus far. The laser supports spatially confined lasing modes and allows for efficient modulation of spectral profiles by simply tuning the polarization of the pump light. Full-field speckle-free imaging at micron-scales has been achieved by using plasmonic random lasers as the illumination sources. Our findings show that plasmonic metamaterials hold potential to enable intriguing coherent optical sources.


Random lasers; imaging; lasing mode confinement; metamaterials; plasmonics

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