Flexible and ultra-lightweight polymer membrane lasers

Markus Karl, James M. E. Glackin, Marcel Schubert, Nils M. Kronenberg, Graham A. Turnbull, Ifor D. W. Samuel, Malte C. Gather*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Organic semiconductors enable the fabrication of a range of lightweight and mechanically flexible optoelectronic devices. Most organic semiconductor lasers, however, have remained rigid until now, predominantly due to the need for a support substrate. Here, we use a simple fabrication process to make membrane-based, substrate-less and extremely thin (< 500 nm) organic distributed feedback lasers that offer ultralow-weight (m/A <0.5 gm−2) and excellent mechanical flexibility. We show operation of the lasers as free-standing membranes and transfer them onto other substrates, e.g. a banknote, where the unique lasing spectrum is readily read out and used as security feature. The pump thresholds and emission intensity of our membrane lasers are well within the permissible exposures for ocular safety and we demonstrate integration on contact lenses as wearable security tags.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1525
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Organic semiconductor laser
  • Distributed feedback laser
  • DFB laser
  • Electronics
  • Excitation
  • Devices


Dive into the research topics of 'Flexible and ultra-lightweight polymer membrane lasers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this