An organic dye laser produces a continuous-wave (cw) output without any moving parts (e.g., without using flowing dye streams or spinning discs of solid-state dye media to prevent photobleaching) and with a pump beam that is stationary with respect to the organic dye medium. The laser's resonant cavity, organic dye medium, and pump beam are configured to excite a lasing transition over a time scale longer than the associated decay lifetimes in the organic dye medium without photobleaching the organic dye medium. Because the organic dye medium does not photobleach when operating in this manner, it may be pumped continuously so as to emit a cw output beam. In some examples, operation in this manner lowers the lasing threshold (e.g., to only a few Watts per square centimeter), thereby facilitating electrical pumping for cw operation.
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DMR0819762 awarded by the National Science Foundation and under Contract No. W911NF-07-D-0004 awarded by the Army Research Office and under Grant Nos. DESC0001299 and DE-FG02-09ER46577 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.