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Micron-sized Laser

Imagine packing four billion nanolasers on a three-inch semiconductor wafer. That is now nearer to reality, thanks to researchers at the University of California, San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering, who have demonstrated a micron-sized laser – less than one-thousandth of a millimeter on each side – that can operate at room temperature. Until now, the only way to operate such a nanolaser was to cool it cryogenically to offset the various losses in the device. The UCSD solution, as published online in advance of appearing in the May issue of the journal Nature Photonics*, was to add super-thin layers of silica (glass) and aluminum to encase the core of each device. Read more