Vertically Emitting Indium Phosphide Nanowire Lasers

Semiconductor nanowire (NW) lasers have attracted considerable research effort given their excellent promise for nanoscale photonic sources. However, NW lasers currently exhibit poor directionality and high threshold gain, issues critically limiting their prospects for on-chip light sources with extremely reduced footprint and efficient power consumption. Here, we propose a new design and experimentally demonstrate a vertically emitting indium phosphide (InP) NW laser structure showing high emission directionality and reduced energy requirements for operation. The structure of the laser combines an InP NW integrated in a cat’s eye (CE) antenna. Thanks to the antenna guidance with broken asymmetry, strong focusing ability, and high <i>Q</i>-factor, the designed InP CE-NW lasers exhibit a higher degree of polarization, narrower emission angle, enhanced internal quantum efficiency, and reduced lasing threshold. Hence, this NW laser–antenna system provides a very promising approach toward the achievement of high-performance nanoscale lasers, with excellent prospects for use as highly localized light sources in present and future integrated nanophotonics systems for applications in advanced sensing, high-resolution imaging, and quantum communications.