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February 7th, 2008
Arrays of well ordered, vertically aligned zinc oxide nanorods have been shown by scientists at the University of Karlsruhe to emit laser light. By focusing the laser excitation down to a spot size smaller than 1 Ám, the researchers found that even single nanorods standing on a substrate could lase. They say that the nanorod arrays could be used to make UV nanolaser devices and light-source displays.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a wide bandgap semiconductor that emits laser light in the ultraviolet range up to room temperature. It has long been thought that ZnO nanorods could be used as building blocks for nanolasers, but it has proved difficult to produce arrays of 1D ZnO nanostructures that are well ordered, uniformly sized and aligned - which are essential for practical applications.
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