On-chip light sources are critical for the realization of fully integrated photonic circuitry. So far, semiconductor miniaturized lasers have been mainly limited to sizes on the order of a few microns. Further reduction of sizes is challenging fundamentally due to the associated radiative losses. While using plasmonic metals helps to reduce radiative losses and sizes, they also introduce Ohmic losses hindering real improvements. In this work, we show that, making use of quasibound states in the continuum, or supercavity modes, we circumvent these fundamental issues and realize one of the smallest purely semiconductor nanolasers thus far. Here, the nanolaser structure is based on a single semiconductor nanocylinder that intentionally takes advantage of the destructive interference between two supported optical modes, namely Fabry–Perot and Mie modes, to obtain a significant enhancement in the quality factor of the cavity. We experimentally demonstrate the concept and obtain optically pumped lasing action using GaAs at cryogenic temperatures. The optimal nanocylinder size is as small as 500 nm in diameter and only 330 nm in height with a lasing wavelength around 825 nm, corresponding to a size-to-wavelength ratio as low as 0.6.
The authors acknowledge the financial support from A*STAR: SERC Pharos program, Singapore (Grant No. 152 73 00025) and Singapore International Graduate Award.