Electrochemiluminescence has been studied since the 1970s as a way to excite dye molecules, but the pumping rate has remained far too low for laser action. Now researchers at NTT Basic Research Laboratories in Atsugi, Japan, have enhanced the efficiency of the process, getting closer to a pump-free dye laser. As the scientists reported in Nature (Aug. 13, 1998, pp. 659-661), key adjustments enabled the improved lasing ability. For example, they increased redox recycling by reducing the space in which the dye flows between the anode and cathode to 2 to 7 µm. This also reduces resistance, eliminating the need for a supporting electrolyte to act as a quencher. In addition, a Fabry-Perot cavity increases the stimulated emission rate.