Conformable Nanowire-in-Nanofiber Hybrids for Low-Threshold Optical Gain in the Ultraviolet

ACS Nano. 2020 Jul 28;14(7):8093-8102. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.0c00870. Epub 2020 May 18.


The miniaturization of diagnostic devices that exploit optical detection schemes requires the design of light sources combining small size, high performance for effective excitation of chromophores, and mechanical flexibility for easy coupling to components with complex and nonplanar shapes. Here, ZnO nanowire-in-fiber hybrids with internal architectural order are introduced, exhibiting a combination of polarized stimulated emission, low propagation losses of light modes, and structural flexibility. Ultrafast transient absorption experiments on the electrospun material show optical gain which gives rise to amplified spontaneous emission with a threshold lower than the value found in films. These systems are highly flexible and can conveniently conform to curved surfaces, which makes them appealing active elements for various device platforms, such as bendable lasers, optical networks, and sensors, as well as for application in bioimaging, photo-cross-linking, and optogenetics.

Keywords: amplified spontaneous emission; electrospinning; nanocomposites; organic−inorganic materials; ultrafast transient absorption; zinc oxide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't