Integrated nanophotonic hubs based on ZnO-Tb(OH)3/SiO2 nanocomposites
1 Department of Physics, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei 106, Taiwan, Republic of China
2 Department of Chemistry, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei 106, Taiwan, Republic of China
Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:503 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-503Published: 22 August 2011
Optical integration is essential for practical application, but it remains unexplored for nanoscale devices. A newly designed nanocomposite based on ZnO semiconductor nanowires and Tb(OH)3/SiO2 core/shell nanospheres has been synthesized and studied. The unique sea urchin-type morphology, bright and sharply visible emission bands of lanthanide, and large aspect ratio of ZnO crystalline nanotips make this novel composite an excellent signal receiver, waveguide, and emitter. The multifunctional composite of ZnO nanotips and Tb(OH)3/SiO2 nanoparticles therefore can serve as an integrated nanophotonics hub. Moreover, the composite of ZnO nanotips deposited on a Tb(OH)3/SiO2 photonic crystal can act as a directional light fountain, in which the confined radiation from Tb ions inside the photonic crystal can be well guided and escape through the ZnO nanotips. Therefore, the output emission arising from Tb ions is truly directional, and its intensity can be greatly enhanced. With highly enhanced lasing emissions in ZnO-Tb(OH)3/SiO2 as well as SnO2-Tb(OH)3/SiO2 nanocomposites, we demonstrate that our approach is extremely beneficial for the creation of low threshold and high-power nanolaser.