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A recent breakthrough in laser technology was made possible with the help of two members of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and highlighted in Nature, a prestigious weekly science journal.

Jiaqiang Yan
Jiaqiang Yan

Jiaqiang Yan and David Mandrus, who are also both joint professors with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, were two co-authors on a University of Washington-led study that dramatically reduced the size of lasers.

The research—monolayer semiconductor nanocavity lasers with ultralow thresholds—resulted in the development of semiconductors that are roughly 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

David Mandrus

Critically, despite the reduction in size and power needed to operate, the technology is compatible with other electronics, which is key for the future development of ever-smaller devices and technology.

In addition to Yan and Mandrus, co-authors included John Schaibley and Liefeng Feng of the University of Washington (Feng is also of Tianjin University in China), Sonia Buckley and Jelena Vuckovic of Stanford University, Fariba Hatami of Humboldt University in Berlin and Wang Yao of the University of Hong Kong.

The full report can be seen at the University of Washington or in Nature.