Comparison of various excitation and detection schemes for dye-doped polymeric whispering gallery mode micro-lasers
T. Siegle, J. Kellerer, M. Bonenberger, S. Krämmer, C. Klusmann, M. Müller, und H. Kalt
Opt. Express 26, 3579- 3593 (2018)
We compare different excitation and collection configurations based on free-space optics and evanescently coupled tapered fibers for both lasing and fluorescence emission from dye-doped doped polymeric whispering gallery mode (WGM) micro-disk lasers. The focus of the comparison is on the lasing threshold and efficiency of light collection. With the aid of optical fibers, we localize the pump energy to the cavity-mode volume and reduce the necessary pump energy to achieve lasing by two orders of magnitude. When using fibers for detection, the collection efficiency is enhanced by four orders of magnitude compared to a free-space read-out perpendicular to the resonator plane. By enhancing the collection efficiency we are able to record a pronounced modulation of the dye fluorescence under continuous wave (cw) pumping conditions evoked by coupling to the WGMs. Alternatively to fibers as a collection tool, we present a read-out technique based on the detection of in-plane radiated light. We show that this method is especially beneficial in an aqueous environment as well as for size-reduced micro-lasers where radiation is strongly pronounced. Furthermore, we show that this technique allows for the assignment of transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) polarization to the observed fundamental modes in a water environment by performing polarization-dependent photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. We emphasize the importance of the polarization determination for sensing applications and verify expected differences in the bulk refractive index sensitivity for TE and TM WGMs experimentally.