Mid-infrared lasers, emitting in the spectral region of 3-12 μm that contain strong characteristic vibrational transitions of many important molecules, are highly desirable for spectroscopy sensing applications. High efficiency quantum cascade lasers have been demonstrated with up to watt-level output power in the mid-infrared region. However, the wide wavelength tuning, which is critical for spectroscopy applications, is still largely relying on incorporating external gratings, which have stability issues. Here, we demonstrate the development a monolithic, widely tunable quantum cascade laser source emitting between 6.1 and 9.2 μm through an on-chip integration of a sampled grating distributed feedback tunable laser array with a beam combiner. A compact tunable laser system was built to drive the individual lasers within the array and coordinate the driving of the laser array to produce desired wavelength. A broadband spectral measurement (520cm-1) of methane shows excellent agreement with Fourier transform infrared spectrometer measurement. Further optimizations have led to high performance monolithic tunable QCLs with up to 65 mW output while delivering fundamental mode outputs.
Wenjia Zhou, Ryan McClintock, Donghai Wu, Steven Slivken, and Manijeh Razeghi, "Broadband monolithically-tunable quantum cascade lasers," Proc. SPIE 10540, Quantum Sensing and Nano Electronics and Photonics XV, 105400A (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 28, 2018; Published: 26 January 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2297479.
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