Abstract

We report lasing in airborne, rhodamine B-doped glycerol–water droplets with diameters ranging between 7.7 and 11.0 μm, which were localized using optical tweezers. While being trapped near the focal point of an infrared laser, the droplets were pumped with a Q-switched green laser. Our experiments revealed nonlinear dependence of the intensity of the droplet whispering gallery modes (WGMs) on the pump laser fluence, indicating dye lasing. The average wavelength of the lasing WGMs could be tuned between 600 and 630 nm by changing the droplet size. These results may lead to new ways of probing airborne particles, exploiting the high sensitivity of stimulated emission to small perturbations in the droplet laser cavity and the gain medium.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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