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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ten years of spasers and plasmonic nanolasers.

  • Author(s): Azzam, Shaimaa I
  • Kildishev, Alexander V
  • Ma, Ren-Min
  • Ning, Cun-Zheng
  • Oulton, Rupert
  • Shalaev, Vladimir M
  • Stockman, Mark I
  • Xu, Jia-Lu
  • Zhang, Xiang
  • et al.

Ten years ago, three teams experimentally demonstrated the first spasers, or plasmonic nanolasers, after the spaser concept was first proposed theoretically in 2003. An overview of the significant progress achieved over the last 10 years is presented here, together with the original context of and motivations for this research. After a general introduction, we first summarize the fundamental properties of spasers and discuss the major motivations that led to the first demonstrations of spasers and nanolasers. This is followed by an overview of crucial technological progress, including lasing threshold reduction, dynamic modulation, room-temperature operation, electrical injection, the control and improvement of spasers, the array operation of spasers, and selected applications of single-particle spasers. Research prospects are presented in relation to several directions of development, including further miniaturization, the relationship with Bose-Einstein condensation, novel spaser-based interconnects, and other features of spasers and plasmonic lasers that have yet to be realized or challenges that are still to be overcome.

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