Enabling enhanced emission and low-threshold lasing of organic molecules using special Fano resonances of macroscopic photonic crystals

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 20;110(34):13711-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1311866110. Epub 2013 Aug 5.


The nature of light interaction with matter can be dramatically altered in optical cavities, often inducing nonclassical behavior. In solid-state systems, excitons need to be spatially incorporated within nanostructured cavities to achieve such behavior. Although fascinating phenomena have been observed with inorganic nanostructures, the incorporation of organic molecules into the typically inorganic cavity is more challenging. Here, we present a unique optofluidic platform comprising organic molecules in solution suspended on a photonic crystal surface, which supports macroscopic Fano resonances and allows strong and tunable interactions with the molecules anywhere along the surface. We develop a theoretical framework of this system and present a rigorous comparison with experimental measurements, showing dramatic spectral and angular enhancement of emission. We then demonstrate that these enhancement mechanisms enable lasing of only a 100-nm thin layer of diluted solution of organic molecules with substantially reduced threshold intensity, which has important implications for organic light-emitting devices and molecular sensing.

Keywords: enhanced light–matter interaction; fluorescence enhancement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescence
  • Light*
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Nanostructures*
  • Optics and Photonics / methods*
  • Organic Chemicals / chemistry*


  • Organic Chemicals