Conjugated polymers are a novel class of semiconductors that combine the properties of semiconductors with the processing advantages and mechanical properties of polymers. A variety of high-performance photonic devices fabricated from conjugated polymers have been demonstrated, including light-emitting diodes, light-emitting electrochemical cells, polymer grid triodes (a new architecture for plastic transistors), field-effect transistors, photovoltaic cells, photodetectors, and optocouplers; i.e. nearly all categories that characterize the field of photonic devices. In many cases, such polymer-based devices have reached performance levels comparable to, or even better than, their inorganic counterparts. Notably missing from this list, however, has been the category representing solid-state lasers.
Scientists at the University of California have developed solid-state lasers
based upon a class of semiconducting luminescent conjugated polymers. Thin films of
conjugated polymers exhibit thresholds for amplified spontaneous emission as low as 100 W/cm2.
A variety of resonator structures have been utilized to enable polymer lasers, including the
following: microcavity lasers, distributed feedback lasers, and "whispering gallery" mode lasers.
The polymer-based lasers can take the form of a variety of devices, such
The conjugated polymer lasing layers are high gain low loss materials. They
can exhibit gain narrowing and amplified spontaneous emission with thresholds as low as 100
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||5,881,083||03/09/1999||1997-017|