Journal of Nanophotonics • Open AccessReview of recent progress of III-nitride nanowire lasers
One-dimensional compound semiconductor nanolasers, especially nanowire (NW)-based nanolasers utilizing III-nitride (AlGaInN) materials system, are an emerging and promising area of research. Significant achievements have been made in developing III-nitride NW lasers with emission wavelengths from the deep ultraviolet (UV) to the near-infrared spectral range. The types of lasers under investigation include Fabry-Pérot, photonic crystal, plasmonic, ring resonator, microstadium, random, polariton, and two-dimensional distributed feedback lasers. The lasing thresholds vary by several orders of magnitude, which are a direct consequence of differing NW dimensions, quality of the NWs, characteristics of NW cavities, and coupling with the substrate. For electrically injected, such as ultralow-threshold and continuous-wave III-nitride NW lasers that can operate at room temperature, the following obstacles remain: carrier loss mechanisms including defect-related nonradiative surface recombination, electron overflow, and poor hole transport; low radiative recombination efficiency and high surface recombination; poor thermal management; and highly resistive ohmic contacts on the p-layer. These obstacles must be overcome to fully realize the potential of these lasers.