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Acoustic levitation has become a crucial technique for contactless manipulation in several fields, particularly in biological applications. However, its application in the photonics field remains largely unexplored. In this study, we implement an affordable and innovative phased-array levitator that enables stable trapping in the air of micrometer dye-doped droplets, thereby enabling the creation of microlasers. For the first time, this paper presents a detailed performance of the levitated microlaser cavity, supported by theoretical analysis concerning the hybrid technology based on the combination of whispering-gallery modes and acoustic fields. The pressure field distribution inside the acoustic cavity is numerically solved and qualitatively matched with the schlieren deflectometry technique. The optical lasing features of the levitated microlasers are highly comparable with those devices based On-a-Chip registering maximum Q-factors of ~ 105, and minimum lasing thresholds ~ 150 nJ cm−2. The emission comb is explained as a sum of multiple individual-supported whispering-gallery modes. The use of novel touchless micrometric lasers, produced with an acoustic levitator brings new technological opportunities based on photonic-acoustic technological platforms.


This article was originally published in Optics & Laser Technology, volume 171, in 2024.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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