Silicon, the material par excellence for electronics, is not used for light sources because of the lack of efficient light emitters and lasers. In this review, I will discuss the physical reasons why silicon is not a laser material and some approaches to make it lasing. I will start with bulk silicon, then I will discuss silicon nanocrystals and Er3+-coupled silicon nanocrystals, where significant advances have been made in the past and can be expected in the near future. I will conclude with an optimistic note on silicon lasing.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(04)00675-3