The last two decades have witnessed tremendous advancements in the area of nanophotonics and plasmonics, which has helped propel the development of integrated photonic sources. Of central importance to such circuits is compact, scalable, low threshold, and efficient coherent sources that can be driven at high modulation frequencies. In this regard, metallic nanolasers offer a unique platform. Their introduction has enabled confinement of light at a subwavelength scale and the ultra-small size of the modes afforded by these structures allows for cavity enhancing effects that can help facilitate thresholdless lasing and large direct modulation bandwidths. In this report, I present my work on the study of the fundamental properties of metallic nanolasers. I start with a rate equation model to predict threshold behavior and the modulation response of metallic nanolasers. Next, I explain the second-order coherence measurement setup that was built, based on a modified Hanbury-Brown and Twiss experiment, to assess the intensity autocorrelation of various optically pumped metallic nanolasers. These studies concluded that metallic coaxial and disk-shaped nanolasers are capable of generating truly coherent radiation. Subsequently, design considerations are taken into account for electrically pumped coaxial nanolasers. This has led to the demonstration of electrically injected coaxial and disk-shaped nanolasers at cryogenic temperatures. Lastly, the appearance of collective behaviors in metallic nanolasers lattices is explored. Individually supporting modes that are highly vectorial by nature, when such cavities are fabricated in close proximity to one another, coupling through their overlapping fields results in the formation of a set of supermodes. The tendency of the system to minimize the overall loss leads to each element of the lattice having a geometric dependent field distribution and helps promotes single-mode lasing. We show both through simulations and experimentally that this effect can lead to the direct generation of vector vortices.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Hayenga, William, "Fundamental Properties of Metallic Nanolasers" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6604.