Flexible and ultra-lightweight polymer membrane lasers
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Organic semiconductors enable the fabrication of a range of lightweight and mechanically flexible optoelectronic devices. Most organic semiconductor lasers, however, have remained rigid until now, predominantly due to the need for a support substrate. Here, we use a simple fabrication process to make membrane-based, substrate-less and extremely thin (< 500 nm) organic distributed feedback lasers that offer ultralow-weight (m/A <0.5 gm−2) and excellent mechanical flexibility. We show operation of the lasers as free-standing membranes and transfer them onto other substrates, e.g. a banknote, where the unique lasing spectrum is readily read out and used as security feature. The pump thresholds and emission intensity of our membrane lasers are well within the permissible exposures for ocular safety and we demonstrate integration on contact lenses as wearable security tags.
Karl , M , Glackin , J M E , Schubert , M , Kronenberg , N M , Turnbull , G A , Samuel , I D W & Gather , M C 2018 , ' Flexible and ultra-lightweight polymer membrane lasers ' , Nature Communications , vol. 9 , 1525 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03874-w
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DescriptionThe authors acknowledge financial support from the European Research Council (ERC StG ABLASE, 640012), the Scottish Funding Council (via SUPA) and EPSRC (EP/P030017/1). M.K. and J.M.E.G. acknowledge funding from the EPSRC DTG (EP/M506631/1 and EP/L505079/1). M.S. acknowledges funding from the European Commission for a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (659213). I.D.W.S. acknowledges funding from a Royal Society Wolfson research merit award.
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