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Comparison of the performance of photonic band-edge liquid crystal lasers using different dyes as the gain medium

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6 Author(s)
Mowatt, Carrie ; Centre of Molecular Materials for Photonic and Electronics, Electrical Engineering Division, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, 9 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0FA, United Kingdom ; Morris, Stephen M. ; Song, Myoung Hoon ; Wilkinson, T.D.
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The primary concern of this work is to study the emission characteristics of a series of chiral nematic liquid crystal lasers doped with different laser dyes (DCM, pyrromethene 580, and pyrromethene 597) at varying concentrations by weight (0.5–2 wt%) when optically pumped at 532 nm. Long-wavelength photonic band-edge laser emission is characterized in terms of threshold energy and slope efficiency. At every dye concentration investigated, the pyrromethene 597-doped lasers exhibit the highest slope efficiency (ranging from 15% to 32%) and the DCM-doped lasers the lowest (ranging from 5% to 13%). Similarly, the threshold was found to be, in general, higher for the DCM-doped laser samples in comparison to the pyrromethene-doped laser samples. These results are then compared with the spectral properties, quantum efficiencies and, where possible, fluorescence lifetimes of the dyes dispersed in a common nematic host. In accordance with the low thresholds and high slope efficiencies, the results show that the molar extinction coefficients and quantum efficiencies are considerably larger for the pyrromethene dyes in comparison to DCM, when dispersed in the liquid crystal host.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:107 ,  Issue: 4 )