Violet-to-Blue Gain and Lasing from Colloidal CdS Nanoplatelets: Low-Threshold Stimulated Emission Despite Low Photoluminescence Quantum Yield

Benjamin T. Diroll, Dmitri V. Talapin, Richard D Schaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) and lasing from solution-processed materials are demonstrated in the challenging violet-to-blue (430-490 nm) spectral region for colloidal nanoplatelets of CdS and newly synthesized core/shell CdS/ZnS nanoplatelets. Despite modest band-edge photoluminescence quantum yields of 2% or less for single excitons, which we show results from hole trapping, the samples exhibit low ASE thresholds. Furthermore, four-monolayer CdS samples show ASE at shorter wavelengths than any reported film of colloidal quantum-confined material. This work underlines that low quantum yields for single excitons do not necessarily lead to a poor gain medium. The low ASE thresholds originate from negligible dispersion in thickness, large absorption cross sections of 2.8 × 10-14 cm-2, and rather slow (150 to 300 ps) biexciton recombination. We show that under higher-fluence excitation, ASE can kinetically outcompete hole trapping. Using nanoplatelets as the gain medium, lasing is observed in a linear optical cavity. This work confirms the fundamental advantages of colloidal quantum well structures as gain media, even in the absence of high photoluminescence efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-583
Number of pages8
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2017



  • amplified spontaneous emission
  • CdS
  • lasing
  • quantum wells
  • trapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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