Biocompatible polymer and protein microspheres with inverse photonic glass structure for random micro-biolasers

Van Duong Ta, Soraya Caixeiro, Dhruv Saxena, Riccardo Sapienza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


The miniaturization of random lasers to the micrometer scale is challenging but fundamental for the integration of lasers with photonic integrated circuits and biological tissues. Herein, it is demonstrated that random lasers with a diameter from 30 to 160 μm can be achieved by using a simple emulsion process and selective chemical etching. These tiny random laser sources are made of either dye-doped polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) or bovine serum albumin (BSA) and they are in the form of microporous spheres with monodisperse pores of 1.28 μm in diameter. Clear lasing action is observed when the microporous spheres are optically excited with powers larger than the lasing threshold, which is 154 μJ mm−2 for a 75 μm diameter PVA microporous sphere. The lasing wavelength redshifts 10 nm when the PVA microsphere diameter increases from 34 to 160 μm. For BSA microspheres, the lasing threshold is around 55 μJ mm−2 for a 70 μm diameter sphere and 104 μJ mm−2 for a 35 μm diameter sphere. The simple fabrication process reported allows for detail studies of morphology and size, important for fundamental studies of light–matter interaction in complex media, and applications in photonic integrated circuits, photonic barcoding, and optical biosensing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100036
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Photonics Research
VolumeEarly View
Early online date25 Jun 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2021


  • Bovine serum albumin
  • Inverse photonic glass structures
  • Microlasers
  • Polyvinyl alcohol
  • Random lasing


Dive into the research topics of 'Biocompatible polymer and protein microspheres with inverse photonic glass structure for random micro-biolasers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this