The combination of spectral broadly tunable quantum cascade laser chips in an external cavity (EC-QCL) with a rapid scanning MOEMS grating as wavelength selective element has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. Spectral tuning ranges of more than 350 cm-1 in the mid-infrared fingerprint region combined with scan frequencies of up to 1 kHz for a complete wavelength scan have enabled several new sensing applications such as contactless real time identification of chemical substances via backscattering spectroscopy. Moreover, the technological approach of a MOEMS EC-QCL allows for a dense integration of the electro optical components resulting in a footprint size for the laser source comparable to that of a matchbox. This makes the MOEMS EC-QCL especially attractive for handheld sensing systems.
In this talk we present the recent advances on the MOEMS EC-QCL technology made at Fraunhofer IAF and IPMS within the European projects MIRPHAB, Aquarius and Chequers. A detailed analysis of spectral reproducibility of consecutive scans, amplitude noise, and spectral resolution in pulsed and cw operation of the laser source is shown and several showcase applications from online process control in chemical and pharmaceutical industry such as transmission measurements on liquids and gases are discussed.
Ralf Ostendorf, Stefan Hugger, Lorenz Butschek, Jan-Philip Jarvis, Marko Härtelt, André Dreyhaupt, Jan Grahmann, Marcel Rattunde, and Joachim Wagner, "Recent advances of external cavity QCLs with MOEMS diffraction gratings (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10540, Quantum Sensing and Nano Electronics and Photonics XV, 105401K (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2288214.5751529166001.
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