Abstract

We introduce a low refractive index layer between the metal and the gain medium in metal-coated laser resonators and demonstrate that it can significantly reduce the dissipation losses. Analysis of a gain medium waveguide shows that for a given waveguide radius, the low index layer has an optimal thickness for which the lasing threshold gain is minimal. The waveguide analysis is used for the design of a novel three-dimensional cylindrical resonator that is smaller than the vacuum wavelength in all three dimensions and exhibits a low enough threshold gain to lase at room temperature.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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