We report on reversible all-optical emission control and lasing in plasmonic nanoparticle lattices. By incorporating photochromic molecules into the liquid gain medium composed of organic fluorescent molecules, we realize all-optical control over gain and absorption, the two key parameters associated with both conventional and nanoscale lasing. We demonstrate reversible photoswitching between two distinct modes of operation: (1) spontaneous emission to the lattice mode, characterized by broad emission line width, low emission intensity, and large angular distribution; and (2) lasing action, characterized by very narrow (sub-nm) line widths due to the emergence of increased gain and temporal coherence in the system, approximately 3 orders of magnitude increase in emission intensity, and narrow 0.7° angular divergence of the beam. A rate-equation model is employed to describe the operation of the switchable plasmonic laser. Our results provide the first demonstration of optically tunable losses in plasmonic lattice lasers, which is an important milestone for the development of active plasmonics and paves the way for ultrafast all-optical switching of plasmonic nanolasers.
- Surface lattice resonance
- Optical control