MSE's Xiaodong Xu, an associate professor in MSE and Physics, built a new nanometer-sized laser — using the thinnest semiconductor available today — that is energy efficient and compatible with existing electronics. The UW nanolaser, developed in collaboration with Stanford University, uses a semiconductor only three atoms thick. "We all want to make devices run faster with less energy consumption, so we need new technologies," said Xu. "The real innovation in this new approach of ours, compared to the old nanolasers, is that we're able to have scalability and more controls." Next steps include investigating photon statistics to establish the coherent properties of the laser's light.