Abstract

In recent years there has been great interest in controlling the speed of propagation of electromagnetic waves. In gases and crystals, coherent techniques have been applied to alter the speed of light without changing the physical or chemical structure of the medium. Also, light transmitted by highly disordered solids has exhibited signatures of Anderson localization, indicating the existence of a regime of “stopped” light that is mediated by random elastic scattering. However, to date, light has not been generated in a random medium as a pointlike excitation that is fixed in space from the outset. Here we report experimental evidence for the electrical generation and confinement of light within nanosized volumes of a random dielectric scattering medium in which a population inversion has been established, and discuss the properties of these novel light sources.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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