Distributed feedback lasers based on green fluorescent protein and conformal high refractive index oxide layers

Markus Karl, Andrew Thomas Meek, Caroline Murawski, Laura Christine Tropf, Changmin Keum, Marcel Schubert, Ifor David William Samuel, Graham A. Turnbull, Malte Christian Gather

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Fluorescent proteins have emerged as an attractive gain material for lasers, especially for devices requiring biocompatibility. However, due to their optical properties, integration with distributed feedback (DFB) resonators is not readily achievable. Here, a DFB laser with enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) as the gain material is demonstrated by incorporating a thin (65 nm), high refractive index (n = 2.12) ZrO2 interlayer as waveguide core. Deposition of ZrO2 via atomic layer deposition yields a smooth and conformal film as required to minimize optical losses. Lasing emission is obtained from 2D second‐order DFB eGFP lasers at pump power densities above 56.6 kW cm–2 and a wavelength tuning range of Δλ = 51.7 nm is demonstrated. Furthermore, it is shown that in contrast to conventional organic DFB lasers, both transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) modes are accessible. The effective refractive index of these modes can be predicted accurately through optical modelling. Using far‐field imaging, the laser beam profile is studied and TE and TM modes are distinguished.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2000101
Number of pages7
JournalLaser & Photonics Reviews
Issue number6
Early online date19 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Biolasers, atomic layer deposition (ALD)
  • Distributed feedback (DFB)
  • Far-field mode analysis
  • Fluorescent proteins
  • Tunable lasing


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