Center of Excellence (COE) for
Photonic-Crystal Surface-Emitting Laser (PCSEL),
Kyoto University

Photonic-Crystal Surface-Emitting Lasers

For Paradigm Shifts in Smart Mobility and Smart Manufacturing

Semiconductor lasers have contributed to modern society over a wide range of fields, particularly tele- and data-communications and optical storage. To date, much interest has been devoted toward expanding the utility of semiconductor lasers for these fields by widening their range of accessible wavelengths and improving their modulation speed.

On the other hand, with regard to high-power applications, semiconductor lasers have had difficulty simultaneously achieving high output powers and high beam qualities which are important for Smart Mobility and Smart Manufacturing. So, their development has lagged behind that of other lasers, such as CO2 and fiber lasers. Moreover, as with many other lasers, semiconductor lasers have not been capable of on-chip beam pattern, polarization, and direction control; these functionalities required the addition of external elements which forfeits the advantage of compactness for which semiconductor lasers are renowned.

Now, with the development of photonic-crystal surface-emitting lasers (PCSELs) which we invented in 1999, this paradigm is expected to change; PCSELs are currently attracting much attention for their simultaneous achievement of high output power and high beam quality (=high brightness) as well as their exhibition of functionalities that are not easily achievable with other types of lasers, such as polarization and beam-pattern control as well as on-chip beam-direction control, which eliminates the need for bulky external optics.

To strengthen the research and development of PCSELs and make a social application of PCSELs, we recently established the Center of Excellence (COE) for PCSELs in Photonics and Electronics Science and Engineering Center (PESEC) in Kyoto University. The COE is currently operated under the project of Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI), Cross ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), “Photonics and Quantum Technology for Society 5.0”, under the CREST program (JP MJCR17N3) commissioned by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japan.

What’s New

2022/9/22 Free-space optical communication using a lens-free watt-class PCSEL has been successfully demonstrated. The result has been recently presented as a postdeadline paper at the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC 2022) by Ishimura and Noda et al. (Collaborative work between KDDI Research Inc. and Kyoto Univ.)

2022/8/11 Introduction to our activities have been published as parts of a Nature “Focal Point on Emerging Photonic and Quantum Technologies in Japan”: “New semiconductors lasers will transform manufacturing“, “Compact lasers set to drive autonomous machinery“, “Laser tech that could cut into manufacturing emissions“.

2022/8 An introduction to PCSELs, titled “Progressing the photonic-crystal surface-emitting lasers”, has been featured in Compound Semiconductor.

2022/7/29 A paper on “High-power CW oscillation of 1.3-µm wavelength InP-based photonic-crystal surface-emitting lasers” has been published in Optics Express. See also Demo5 | Center of Excellence (COE) for Photonic-Crystal Surface-Emitting Lasers (PCSELs), Kyoto University.

2022/7/4 A paper on “General recipe to realize photonic-crystal surface-emitting lasers with 100-W-to-1-kW single-mode operation” has been published in Nature Communications. See also Technology | Center of Excellence (COE) for Photonic-Crystal Surface-Emitting Lasers (PCSELs), Kyoto University.

2022/7/1 We are exhibiting our PCSEL and a small LiDAR equipped with a PCSEL at the HIGH TECH CAMPUS EINDHOVEN in the Netherlands. An introduction to the
exhibition is featured here.

2022/6/27 Prof. Noda was awarded the Japan Academy Prize.

2022/4/26 Prof. Noda gave a plenary talk at the International Conference on Laser Ablation (COLA 2021/2022).

2022/4/20-22 We exhibited a PCSEL and a LiDAR equipped with a PCSEL at the OPTICS & PHOTONICS International Exhibition (OPIE ’22).

2022/4/21 Prof. Noda gave a lecture about PCSELs at a seminar at OPIE ’22.

2022/2 Prof. Noda reported on the Center of Excellence (COE) for Photonic-Crystal Surface-Emitting Laser (PCSEL) and related technologies at the SPIE Photonics West Digital Forum. (Online movie is here.)

2021/10 CW 29W emission has been successfully realized using a 940nm PCSEL (InGaAs/ GaAs) and has been presented at the Inter-national Semiconductor
Laser Conference (ISLC 2021) by Katsuno and Noda et al.

2021/10 CW 80mW emission has been successfully realized using a 1.3µm PCSEL (InGaAsP/ InP) and has been presented at the Inter-national Semiconductor
Laser Conference (ISLC 2021) by Itoh and Noda et al.
(Collaborative work between Sumitomo Electric and Kyoto Univ.)

2021/9 Prof. Noda gave a keynote talk  at the 26th Microoptics Conference (MOC2021).

2021/7 Prof. Noda gave a plenary talk  at the Optica/OSK/OSJ Joint Symposia on Optics 2021.

2021/7 Prof. Noda gave an invited talk at the Optoelectronics and Communications Conference (OECC 2021).

2021/7 LiDAR equipped with a photonic-crystal laser has been greatly miniaturized in volume (to one-third of its former size).

2021/5 Prof. Noda gave a keynote talk  at the Compound Semiconductor Week.

2021/4 Prof. Noda gave a keynote talk at the International Conference on Nano-photonics and Nano-optoelectronics (ICNN 2021)

2021/4 An image of our proposed “photonic-crystal laser enabling high-peak-power and short-pulse operation” appeared on the cover of the April issue of Nature Photonics.

2021/3 Movies on the development of photonic crystal lasers toward short-pulse and short-wavelength operations have been released to the public.

2021/3 A paper on a new photonic crystal laser enabling high-peak-power short-pulse operation has been published in Nature Photonics.

2021/3 Prof. Noda gave a plenary talk and a key-note talk at SPIE Photonics West.

2020/11/13 Development of a new photonic crystal laser chip capable of electrical two-dimensional beam scanning has been reported by foreign media.

2020/7/16 Professor Noda gave an invited talk at the OSA Advanced Photonic Congress, 13-16 July 2020.

2020/7/14 A paper on a new photonic crystal laser chip enabling electrical beam scanning in two dimensions has been published in Nature Communications.

2020/6/30 We succeeded in the world’s first development of a LiDAR system equipped with a photonic crystal surface emitting laser. (Kyoto University) (JST) ― Reported in newspapers and on television.

2019/2 Prof. Noda gave a plenary talk at SPIE Photonics West. The presentation is now uploaded on the web page of SPIE.

2019/2 An image of our proposed “double-lattice photonic-crystal resonator” appeared on the cover of the February issue of Nature Materials.

2018/12/18 A paper on “Double-lattice photonic-crystal resonators enabling high-brightness semiconductor lasers with symmetric narrow-divergence beams” has been published in Nature Materials.

“Now, with the development of Photonic-Crystal Surface-Emitting Lasers (PCSELs), which we invented in 1999, the paradigm is certainly changing; PCSELs are attracting much attention for their simultaneous achievement of high output power and high beam quality (=high brightness), as well as their exhibition of functionalities that are not easily achievable with other types of lasers, such as polarization, beam-pattern control, and on-chip beam-direction control, which eliminates the need for bulky external optics.“

Professor Susumu Noda, Kyoto University