Abstract

The quantum cascade laser (QCL) is becoming the leading laser source in the mid-infrared (mid-IR) range, which contains two atmospheric transmission windows and many molecular fingerprint absorption features. Since its first demonstration in 1994, the QCL has undergone tremendous development in terms of the output power, wall plug efficiency, wavelength coverage, tunability and beam quality. At the Center for Quantum Devices, we have demonstrated high-power continuous wave operation of QCLs covering a wide wavelength range from 3 to 12 μm, with power output up to 5.1 W at room temperature. Recent research has resulted in power scaling in pulsed mode with up to 203 W output, electrically tunable QCLs based on monolithic sampled grating design, heterogeneous QCLs with a broad spectral gain, broadly tunable on-chip beam-combined QCLs, QCL-based mid-IR frequency combs, and fundamental mode surface emitting quantum cascade ring lasers. The developed QCLs will be the basis for a number of next-generation spectroscopy and sensing systems.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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Corrections

17 October 2017: A minor correction was made to the paper title.


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