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Researchers from Japan have demonstrated that a long-elusive kind of laser diode based on organic semiconductors is indeed possible, paving the way for the further expansion of lasers in applications such as biosensing, displays, healthcare and optical communications.
Long considered a holy grail in the area of light-emitting devices, organic laser diodes use carbon-based organic materials to emit light instead of the inorganic semiconductors, such as gallium arsenide and gallium nitride, used in traditional devices.
Lasers - Ways - Diodes - OLEDs - Layer
The lasers are in many ways similar to organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), in which a thin layer of organic molecules emits light when electricity is applied. OLEDs have become a popular choice for smartphone displays because of their high efficiency and vibrant colors, which can easily be changed by designing new organic molecules.
Organic laser diodes produce a much purer light enabling additional applications, but they require currents that are magnitudes higher than those used in OLEDs to achieve the lasing process. These extreme conditions caused previously studied devices to break down well before lasing could be observed.
Progress - Claims - Materials - Occasions - Phenomena
Further complicating progress, previous claims of electrically generated lasing from organic materials turned out to be false on several occasions, with other phenomena being mistaken for lasing because of insufficient characterization.
But now, scientists from the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research (OPERA) at Kyushu University report in the journal Applied Physics Express that they have enough data to convincingly show that organic semiconductor laser diodes have finally been realized.
People - Community - Day - Realization - Laser
"I think that many people in the community were doubting whether we would actually one day see the realization of an organic laser diode," says Atula S. D. Sandanayaka, lead author on the paper, "but by slowing chipping away at the various performance limitations with improved materials and new device structures, we finally did it."
A critical step in lasing is the injection...
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