Lasing at the nanometre scale promises strong light-matter interactions and ultrafast operation. Plasmonic resonances supported by metallic nanoparticles have extremely small mode volumes and high field enhancements, making them an ideal platform for studying nanoscale lasing. At visible frequencies, however, the applicability of plasmon resonances is limited due to strong ohmic and radiative losses. Intriguingly, plasmonic nanoparticle arrays support non-radiative dark modes that offer longer life-times but are inaccessible to far-field radiation. Here,،they show lasing both in dark and bright modes of an array of silver nanoparticles combined with optically pumped dye molecules. Linewidths of 0.2 nm at visible wavelengths and room temperature are observed. Access to the dark modes is provided by a coherent out-coupling mechanism based on the finite size of the array. The results open a route to utilize all modes of plasmonic lattices, also the high-Q ones, for studies of strong light-matter interactions, condensation and photon fluids.
Related paper: T. K. Hakala et al.,Lasing in dark and bright modes of a finite-sized plasmonic lattice, Nature Communications, 13687 (2017).