We combine photonic and electronic band structure engineering to create a surface-emitting quantum cascade microcavity laser. A high-index contrast two-dimensional photonic crystal is used to form a micro-resonator that simultaneously provides feedback for laser action and diffracts light vertically from the surface of the semiconductor surface. A top metallic contact allows electrical current injection and provides vertical optical confinement through a bound surface plasmon wave. The miniaturization and tailorable emission properties of this design are potentially important for sensing applications, while electrical pumping can allow new studies of photonic crystal and surface plasmon structures in nonlinear and near-field optics.
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