Lasing at the band edges of plasmonic lattices
Phys. Rev. B , Volume 90 - Issue Article number: 155452 p. 1- 10
We report room-temperature lasing in two-dimensional diffractive lattices of silver and gold plasmon particle arrays embedded in a dye-doped polymer that acts both as waveguide and gain medium. As compared to conventional dielectric distributed feedback (DFB) lasers, a central question is how the underlying band structure from which lasing emerges is modified by both the much stronger scattering and the disadvantageous loss of metal. We use spectrally resolved back-focal plane imaging to measure the wavelength and angle dependence of emission below and above threshold, thereby mapping the band structure. We find that, for silver particles, the band structure is strongly modified compared to dielectric reference DFB lasers since the strong scattering gives large stop gaps. In contrast, gold particles scatter weakly and absorb strongly, so that thresholds are higher, but the band structure is not strongly modified. The experimental findings are supported by finite element and Fourier modal method calculations of the single-particle scattering strength and lattice extinction.