Erbium-doped solgel films are applied to the surface of silica microspheres to create low-threshold microcavity lasers. This gain functionalization can be applied by use of a number of different dopants, thereby extending the wavelength range of this class of device. Also, by varying the doping concentration and thickness of the applied solgel layer, one can vary the laser dynamics so that both continuous-wave and pulsating modes of operation are possible.
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