Abstract

One of the primary difficulties in the implementation of organic-dye-based random lasers is the tendency of organic dyes to irreversibly photodecay. In this Letter, we report the observation of “reversible” photodegradation in a Rhodamine 6G and ZrO2 nanoparticle-doped polyurethane random laser. We find that during degradation, the emission broadens, redshifts, and decreases in intensity. After degradation, the system is observed to self-heal leading to the emission returning to its pristine intensity, giving a recovery efficiency of 100%. While the peak intensity fully recovers, the process is not strictly “reversible”, as the emission after recovery is still found to be broadened and redshifted. The combination of the peak emission fully recovering and the broadening of the emission leads to a remarkable result: the random laser cycled through degradation, and recovery has a greater integrated emission intensity than the pristine system.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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