We demonstrate that the conditions of spaser generation and the full loss compensation in a resonant plasmonic-gain medium (metamaterial) are identical. Consequently, attempting the full compensation or overcompensation of losses by gain will lead to instability and a transition to a spaser state. This will limit (clamp) the inversion and lead to the limitation on the maximum loss compensation achievable. The criterion of the loss overcompensation, leading to the instability and spasing, is given in a analytical and universal (independent from system's geometry) form.
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