High power, electrically tunable quantum cascade lasers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Mid-infrared laser sources (3-14 μm wavelengths) which have wide spectral coverage and high output power are attractive for many applications. This spectral range contains unique absorption fingerprints of most molecules, including toxins, explosives, and nerve agents. Infrared spectroscopy can also be used to detect important biomarkers, which can be used for medical diagnostics by means of breath analysis. The challenge is to produce a broadband midinfrared source which is small, lightweight, robust, and inexpensive. We are currently investigating monolithic solutions using quantum cascade lasers. A wide gain bandwidth is not sufficient to make an ideal spectroscopy source. Single mode output with rapid tuning is desirable. For dynamic wavelength selection, our group is developing multi-section laser geometries with wide electrical tuning (hundreds of cm-1). These devices are roughly the same size as a traditional quantum cascade lasers, but tuning is accomplished without any external optical components. When combined with suitable amplifiers, these lasers are capable of multi-Watt single mode output powers. This manuscript will describe our current research efforts and the potential for high performance, broadband electrical tuning with the quantum cascade laser.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQuantum Sensing and Nano Electronics and Photonics XIII
EditorsGail J. Brown, Manijeh Razeghi, Jay S. Lewis
ISBN (Electronic)9781628419900
StatePublished - 2016
EventQuantum Sensing and Nano Electronics and Photonics XIII - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2016Feb 18 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherQuantum Sensing and Nano Electronics and Photonics XIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • monolithic tunable laser
  • quantum cascade laser
  • sampled grating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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