Low threshold room-temperature UV surface plasmon polariton lasers with ZnO nanowires on single-crystal aluminum films with Al2O3 interlayers

Yun Jhen Liao, Chang Wei Cheng, Bao Hsian Wu, Chun Yuan Wang, Chih Yen Chen, Shangjr Gwo*, Lih Juann Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

ZnO is one of the most promising optical gain media and allows lasing in ZnO nanowires at room temperature. Plasmonic lasers are potentially useful in applications in biosensing, photonic circuits, and high-capacity signal processing. In this work, we combine ZnO nanowires and single-crystalline aluminum films to fabricate Fabry-Perot type surface plasmon polariton (SPP) lasers to overcome the diffraction limit of conventional optics. High quality ZnO nanowires were synthesized by a vapor phase transport process via catalyzed growth. The ZnO nanowires were placed on a single-crystalline Al film grown by molecular beam epitaxy with an interlayer Al2O3 deposited by atomic layer deposition. The plasmonic laser is of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) structure, compatible with silicon device processing. An optimal thickness of atomic layer deposited Al2O3 layer can lead to a low lasing threshold, 6.27 MW cm-2, which is 3 times and 12 times lower than that of previous reports for ZnO/Al and Zno/Al2O3/Al plasmonic lasers, respectively, owing to low materials loss. Both the thickness and quality of insulating layers were found to critically influence the lasing threshold of the SPP nanolasers in the subwavelength regime. The simulation results also manifest the importance of the quality of the dielectric interlayer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13600-13607
Number of pages8
JournalRSC Advances
Volume9
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

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