Midwavelength Infrared Colloidal Nanowire Laser

J Phys Chem Lett. 2022 Feb 17;13(6):1431-1437. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c04154. Epub 2022 Feb 4.


Realizing bright colloidal infrared emitters in the midwavelength infrared (or mid-IR), which can be used for low-power IR light-emitting diodes (LEDs), sensors, and deep-tissue imaging, has been a challenge for the last few decades. Here, we present colloidal tellurium nanowires with strong emission intensity at room temperature and even lasing at 3.6 μm (ω) under cryotemperature. Furthermore, the second-harmonic field at 1.8 μm (2ω) and the third-harmonic field at 1.2 μm (3ω) are successfully generated thanks to the intrinsic property of the tellurium nanowire. These unique optical features have never been reported for colloidal tellurium nanocrystals. With the colloidal midwavelength infrared (MWIR) Te nanowire laser, we demonstrate its potential in biomedical applications. MWIR lasing has been clearly observed from nanowires embedded in a human neuroblastoma cell, which could further realize deep-tissue imaging and thermotherapy in the near future.

MeSH terms

  • Colloids / chemistry*
  • Infrared Rays*
  • Lasers*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Nanowires / chemistry*
  • Semiconductors
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Colloids