This review focuses on coherent light sources at the nanoscale, and specifically on lasers exploiting plasmonic cavities that can beat the diffraction limit of light. Conventional lasers exhibit coherent, intense, and directional emission with cavity sizes much larger than their operating wavelength. Plasmon lasers show ultrasmall mode confinement, support strong light–matter interactions, and represent a class of devices with extremely small sizes. We discuss the differences between plasmon lasers and traditional ones, and we highlight advances in directionality and tunability through innovative cavity designs and new materials. Challenges and future prospects are also discussed.


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