Giant optical gain in a single-crystal erbium chloride silicate nanowire

Hao Sun, Leijun Yin, Zhicheng Liu, Yize Zheng, Fan Fan, Shilong Zhao, Xue Feng, Yongzhuo Li, Cun-Zheng Ning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Rare-earth optical materials with large optical gain are of great importance for a wide variety of applications in photonics and quantum information due to their long carrier lifetimes and quantum coherence times, especially in the realization of efficient lasers and amplifiers. Until now, such materials have achieved a gain of less than a few dB cm-1, rendering them unsuitable for applications in nanophotonic integrated circuits. Here, we report the results of the signal enhancement and transmission experiments on a single-crystal erbium chloride silicate nanowire. Our experiments demonstrate that a net material gain over 100â €..dB cm-1 at wavelengths around 1,530â €..nm is possible due to the nanowire's single-crystalline material quality and its high erbium concentration. Our results establish that such rare-earth-compound nanowires are a potentially important class of nanomaterials for a variety of applications including, for example, subwavelength-scale optical amplifiers and lasers for integrated nanophotonics, and quantum information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-593
Number of pages5
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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