The single-molecule dye laser

Z. S. Wang, H. A. Rabitz, M. O. Scully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This work explores the feasibility of inducing lasing action in a single dye molecule using an optical microcavity. A single-molecule light source is proposed, in which a microcavity-coupled dye molecule is pumped by multiple energy donors via an intermolecular resonance energy transfer mechanism. A quantitative model based on realistic parameters for microcavities and for organic dyes shows that stimulated emission may become dominant over spontaneous fluorescence under optimal yet technically reachable conditions, suggesting the likelihood of achieving a single-molecule lasing photon source with the proposed device. Lasing of a single dye molecule generates signals much brighter than spontaneous fluorescence, and may find applications in a wide range of fields from physics and chemistry to biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalLaser Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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