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SEMICONDUCTING POLYMERS Thin Films Show Laser Potential
Published 1996 · Chemistry
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Over the past decade, scientists have shown that organic semiconducting polymers can replace inorganic materials as the active medium in a number of electronic and optoelectronic devices, such as lightemitting diodes. Now, three research groups have independently achieved another milestone, demonstrating that the same polymers, in the form of thin films, have potential as solid-state laser materials. At last week's American Chemical Society national meeting in Orlando, Fla., Benjamin J. Schwartz, a member of Alan J. Heeger's group at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reported inducing thin films of a dozen different conjugated polymers to emit light when stimulated by an optical laser. The emitted light showed some of the distinctive characteristics of laser light. A week earlier, a paper in Nature [382, 695 (1996)] announced that poly- (p-phenylenevinylene) (PPV), a wellknown luminescent polymer, had been optically stimulated to emit light in a special device structure known as a microcavity. ...