Ultraviolet Lasing in High-Order Bands of Three-Dimensional ZnO Photonic Crystals

Michael Scharrer
Alexey Yamilov, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Xiaohua Wu
Hui Cao
Robert P. H. Chang

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UV lasing in three-dimensional ZnO photonic crystals is demonstrated at room temperature. The photonic crystals are inverse opals with high refractive index contrast that simultaneously confine light and provide optical gain. Highly directional lasing with tunable wavelength is obtained by optical pumping. Comparison of the experimental results to the calculated band structure shows that lasing occurs in high-order bands with abnormally low group velocity. This demonstrates that the high-order band structure of three-dimensional photonic crystals can be used to effectively confine light and enhance emission. Our findings may also impact other applications of photonic crystal devices. ©2006 American Institute of Physics