Semiconducting polymers combine attractive optoelectronic properties with the scope for simple fabrication. Now well established as materials for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), they also offer considerable potential as cheap visible lasers. In this review, we describe the distinctive features of semiconducting polymers that have motivated their study as laser gain media. We discuss the latest advances made in the physics and fabrication of novel plastic laser resonators. Finally, we outline the progress toward and future challenges for making inexpensive plastic diode lasers that could operate throughout the visible spectrum.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(04)00399-2