To penetrate the full visible spectrum using a single nanocrystalline material system, based on colloidal semiconductor quantum dots, to develop coherent microemitters and their arrays. The proposed approach is guided by two key research objectives: (a) methods to create ultrahigh density closely-packed quantum dot thin film red- green-blue optical gain media which can be tightly adhered on selected substrates and microscale patterned surfaces, and (b) integration of optical microresonators with the quantum dot media which incorporate the high gain medium to enable operation for a color-tunable microlaser at room temperature under practical and realistic excitation conditions.
Intellectual merit: At the basic level, research aims to maximize the optical gain in densely packed colloidal quantum dot-based microresonators by investigating fundamental competition and interaction within interacting quantum dot excitonic states between radiative (stimulated emission) and nonradiative processes. At the applied level, this knowledge is employed to design low-cost thin film gain media which can be patterned and/or conformally deposited and integrated within optical microcavities for microscale lasers.
Broader impacts: The single material based full spectrum coherent microemitters may offer a transformative means to develop new types pixelated laser projection devices, a technologically important outcome for portable displays. The PI aims to recruit women and other minority students under the REU program and will participate in outreach events with students and teachers through the already established program at Brown with Providence Public Schools system. Graduate students will have opportunity to work with a start-up company to gain experience transitioning research to technologies.