META 2021, META'12

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Opto-electronic Devices; Spontaneous Emission Faster than Stimulated Emission
E. Yablonovitch

Last modified: 2012-03-14


For more than 50 years, stimulated emission has been stronger and far more important than spontaneous emission.  Indeed spontaneous emission has been looked down upon, as a weak effect.  Now, a new science of enhanced spontaneous emission is emerging, that will make spontaneous emission faster than stimulated emission.  This new science depends upon the use of optical antennas to assist the spontaneous emission.

            The overall enhancement in spontaneous emission rate could be roughly 8 orders of magnitude!  Under favorable circumstances the spontaneous emission rate could be comparable to the optical frequency itself, which would be unprecedented.  This technology emerges at the present time owing to our ability to create metallic structures at the nano-scale, that can act as antennas for molecules and semiconductors. 

            This new technology will enable Tera-Hertz-speed direct modulation nano-LED's, and it will make it possible for ordinarily non-radiating molecules to radiate, revolutionizing biological research, and bio-sensing. 

            The latest device results will be presented for antennas on semiconducting structures