I’m finishing up an article about nanophotonics just now, and have been learning a lot about the potential uses of surface plasmons — short-lived electron density waves at the junction between a metal and dielectric (like air or an insulator). This isn’t the first laser based on surface plasmons, but it is the smallest yet.
Also, I sincerely hope that the term SPASER isn’t widely adopted. It is an acronym for surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, but sounds too much like the nickname for a Hollywood celebrity couple.
Here’s the short news brief I wrote for Optics & Photonics News: Tiny and Green: Nanolaser Depends on Surface-Plasmons.
Here’s the paper in Science:
Plasmonic Nanolaser Using Epitaxially Grown Silver Film