18 May 2017 Advances in Fabry-Perot and tunable quantum cascade lasers
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Abstract
Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) are becoming mature infrared emitting devices that convert electrical power directly into optical power and generate laser radiation in the mid wave infrared (MWIR) and long wave infrared (LWIR) regions. These lasers operate at room temperature in the 3.5 μm to >12.0 μm region. QCLs operate at longer wavelengths into the terahertz region; however, these require some level of cryogenic cooling. Nonetheless, QCLs are the only solid-state sources that convert electrical power into optical power directly in these spectral regions. Three critical advances have contributed to the broad range of applications of QCLs, since their first demonstration in 1994 [1]. The first of these was the utilization of two phonon resonance for deexcitation of electrons from the lower lasing level [2]; the second is the utilization of epi-down mounting with hard solder of QCLs for practical applications [3]; and the third is the invention of nonresonant extraction for deexciting electrons from the lower laser level and simultaneously removing constraints on QCL structure design for extending high power room temperature operation to a broad range of wavelengths [4]. Although QCLs generate CW radiation at room temperature at wavelengths ranging from ~3.5 μm to <12.0 μm, two spectral regions are very important for a broad range of applications. These are the first and the second atmospheric transmission windows from ~3.5 μm to ~ 5.0 μm and from ~8.0 μm to ~12.0 μm, respectively. Both of these windows (except for the spectral region near 4.2 μm, which is dominated by the infrared absorption from atmospheric carbon dioxide) are relatively free from atmospheric absorption and have a range of applications that involve long distance propagation.
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C. Kumar N. Patel, "Advances in Fabry-Perot and tunable quantum cascade lasers", Proc. SPIE 10194, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX, 101942H (18 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2264813; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2264813
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