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Beaming random lasers with soliton control

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number3863
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Random lasers are resonator-less light sources where feedback stems from recurrent scattering at the expense of spatial profile and directionality. Suitably-doped nematic liquid crystals can random lase when optically pumped near resonance(s); moreover, through molecular reorientation within the transparency region, they support self-guided optical spatial solitons, i.e., light-induced waveguides. Here, we synergistically combine solitons and collinear pumping in weakly scattering dye-doped nematic liquid crystals, whereby random lasing and self-confinement concur to beaming the emission, with several improved features: all-optical switching driven by a low-power input, laser directionality and smooth output profile with high-conversion efficiency, externally controlled angular steering. Such effects make soliton-assisted random lasers an outstanding route towards application-oriented random lasers.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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